Fewer than 2% of investment funds distributed in France charge “substantially high fees”, according to AMF, the country’s financial markets regulator.A review it carried out found that, out of just over 8,000 funds, 148 charged substantially higher charges than their competitors. This represented 0.33% of assets under management.The majority of these funds (70%) had less than €20m in assets, which probably meant they could not benefit from economies of scale, said the AMF. Also, most of them charged additional fees when their fund manager bought or sold portfolio securities, which increased the level of ongoing charges disclosed in the funds’ key investor information documents (KIIDs).“The AMF nevertheless observed that some of these UCITS have since merged or been liquidated, which could be the result of competition from other UCITS that charge lower fees,” it said. The regulator’s study also found that, in general, foreign funds charged slightly higher fees on average than French funds for equivalent asset classes.The findings emerged from an analysis of funds’ key investor information documents for the financial year 2015 and the ongoing charges disclosed by 8,038 UCITS funds distributed in France.‘Value for money’ reporting toolFund research company Fitz Partners has launched a service intended to allow fund fee committees and fund directors to evaluate share classes on fees, asset size and performance.In a statement, the company said it launched the fund board reporting service “in response to greater demand for better fund governance and investment managers’ requirements for ’value for money’ reviews”.It said requests for independent reviews came from asset managers and also from fund buyers and regulators. In Europe fund boards are not obliged to assess value for money, although in the UK the Financial Conduct Authority last year proposed requiring asset managers to assess whether funds offer value for money. PTL, a UK independent trustee firm, has also launched a ‘value for money’ assessment service for defined contribution investment funds, with Schroders announced as the first asset manager to sign up.Aberdeen Standard in private markets offeringAberdeen Standard Investments has launched what it said was its first comprehensive private markets fund.It has been launched with £138m (€155.8m) of assets, and will invest in a diversified global mix of private equity, infrastructure, real estate and private credit, the asset manager said in a statement.Carillion questioning UK politicians have written to investors including BlackRock and Standard Life Aberdeen as part of an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the collapse of UK construction firm Carillion.In their letters, dated 26 January, the chairs of the two parliamentary committees behind the inquiry said they wanted to examine whether major institutional investors complied with the Stewardship Code. They asked the investors to set out what engagement they had with Carillion following the publication of its annual report and accounts for 2016 and the interim financial results for 2017. The institutions were also asked to set out what steps they took to influence the financial decisions of the board, the response they received, and their reasons for deciding to sell shares in the company when they did.The politicians asked for responses by 2 February. BlackRock has been given an extension, a spokeswoman for the asset manager told IPE.Goldman Sachs-Amundi fund tie-upGoldman Sachs Fund Solutions is partnering with Amundi to use its asset management operational platform, Amundi Services, for its Luxembourg-domiciled funds.Amundi Services will provide investment management and ongoing control and oversight services to Goldman Sachs Fund Solutions, which runs systematic investment strategies. Amundi will also provide management, due diligence and monitoring services to Goldman Sachs’ UCITS platform dedicated to external alternative fund managers.Goldman Sachs Fund Solutions said it aimed to significantly increase its assets over the coming years, primarily through institutional investors and financial intermediaries.Amundi Services has more than 23 third party asset managers and asset owners as clients, according to Guillaume Lesage, head of the operations, services and technology division of Amundi.
UK-based Ophir Energy has increased and extended its existing Reserve Based Lending Facility (RBL) by $100 million to $350 million. Ophir will now be able repay a facility used to fund the acquisition of a package of assets from Australia’s Santos.The maturity of the RBL has been extended by 18 months, so it now matures on December 31, 2025, restoring the original seven-year maturity, Ophir said on Wednesday.The increase follows the completion of the acquisition of certain Southeast Asian assets from Santos announced on September 6, 2018. The increased and extended RBL will be secured against the group’s acquired producing assets in Southeast Asia, including Chim Sao field in Vietnam and the producing fields in the Madura and Sampang PSCs in Indonesia.According to Ophir, proceeds from the RBL increase will be used to fully repay the 18 month Bridge Facility that Ophir signed in August this year to partly fund the acquisition of a package of production and development assets from Santos.“Having experienced a strong production performance during 2018, and with commodity prices ahead of budget for the majority of the year and lower capex payments, Ophir now expects to end the year with net debt of $65 million (with the RBL drawn down by $250 million by early-January) versus previous guidance of $110 million,” the company stated.Additionally, with the increased RBL capacity, gross liquidity (cash and undrawn available borrowings) at year-end is expected to be $360 million versus previous guidance of $260 million.Tony Rouse, CFO of Ophir Energy, commented: “We are pleased with the ongoing strong support of our relationship banks, evidenced by the integration of Santos assets into the company’s long-term debt facility. Our balance sheet remains strong and we expect to have greater liquidity at year end than previously guided.”
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is still waiting to assess the full extent of goalkeeper Artur Boruc’s thigh injury ahead of the visit of Tottenham. Press Association The Pole missed last week’s defeat at Manchester City as Adam Federici stepped in but Howe was optimistic after initial scans at the weekend. Midfielders Andrew Surman (calf) and Marc Pugh (rib) are fit while forward Lee Tomlin has recovered from illness. Provisional squad: Boruc, Federici, Francis, Cook, Gosling, Surman, Pugh, Rantie, Daniels, Smith, MacDonald, King, Kermorgant, Stanislas, Atsu, Allsop, Tomlin, Distin, Ritchie, O’Kane, Bennett, Murray.
The No. 8 University of Wisconsin men’s football team’s game with No. 9 University of Nebraska attracted an audience of 3.87 million views on Saturday, making it the seventh most watched game to air on ESPN this season.The game was supposed to be the Badgers’ fourth game of the season to be played on ABC, but switched over to ESPN earlier in the week due to popularity issues around other games.The thrilling overtime 23-17 victory for UW was their second overtime home game against a top 10 team in only three weeks, a big reason behind the spike in numbers. The overtime loss to then-No. 2 Ohio State University Oct. 15 was the third most watched game in all of college football at that point and still ranks at the top of all the Badgers’ games this season with more than 9 million viewers.Marissa Haegele/The Badger HeraldFootball: Wisconsin vs. Ohio State game draws more than 9 million viewersLast Saturday night’s thriller between then-No. 8 University of Wisconsin and No. 2 Ohio State University at Camp Randall Stadium Read…With one of the most difficult schedules in college football this season, Wisconsin has had their fair share of high profile games. The Badgers have faced five top 10 teams over the year and finished with a miraculous record of 3-2 after starting the season unranked.This week marked the first week of the College Football Playoff Rankings with Wisconsin coming in at the same as their Associated Press poll ranking, eighth. The committee made it a note to award a tough schedule in their initial poll, putting the Badgers as the top ranked two-loss team in the country and better than many one-loss teams in the Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference.Despite the big-time matchups Wisconsin has played in, the Oct. 29 night game at Camp Randall against Nebraska still made it in as only the second most watched game on ESPN this weekend behind No. 3 University of Michigan and Michigan State University at 4.79 million viewers. The game against the visiting Cornhuskers ranked third on the weekend in average minute audience with 104,000 viewers behind UM vs MSU and No. 6 Ohio State University vs University of Northwestern.Marissa Haegele/The Badger HeraldFootball: Wisconsin survives Halloween scare from Nebraska in 23-17 overtime winThe last two times Nebraska visited Camp Randall Stadium, the University of Wisconsin football team imposed its will in the Read…Even with one game left on the season to air on ESPN for the Badgers at Northwestern this Saturday, the top 10 matchups and top five viewers rankings are most likely finished until postseason play. With a Nebraska loss to Ohio State this weekend and an undefeated November schedule to close the regular season, Wisconsin could sneak into the Big Ten championship and force a rematch with Ohio State or Michigan.Either way, the season has been a special one for the Wisconsin men’s football team, and the game last Saturday was one of its crowning achievements. The Badgers hope to keep their momentum rolling with another Big Ten matchup with Northwestern at 11 a.m. Saturday in Evanston.