Ernst & Young partners with JWG-IT to speed up Mifid compliance

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LONDON – Ernst & Young and independent think-tank JWG-IT have announced a new agreement to hasten their clients’ compliance with the demands of the European Union’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Mifid).

The two organisations are collaborating to provide “joint thought leadership” for their EU clients now subject to Mifid, the EU’s single market replacement for the Investment Services Directive.

The two firms say their collaboration will provide their clients with comparisons with their competitors to target compliance needs; analyse the ability of the JWG-IT Technical Special Interest Group to provide solutions; and to create technological and business foresight to meet the challenges of the EU’s Financial Services Action Plan, among other regulatory initiatives.

JWG-IT recently revealed a wide variance in levels of Mifid compliance among its clients in a market intelligence report. It showed 68% of clients expect to come under counterparty fire over best execution and to be paying EU fines by the first quarter of 2008. Four in five firms expect to be challenged on best execution by the third quarter of 2008.

The collaboration will be led by Stephen Christie, a partner in Ernst & Young’s regulatory and risk management practice, and PJ Di Giammarino, chief executive officer at JWG-IT.

Says Di Giammarino: “Only the UK met the deadline for Mifid transposition, and 66% of the member states put the new laws onto their books by the implementation date of November 1, leaving thousands of EU investment firms little time to adjust to new rulebooks.”

“The introduction of Mifid will continue to impact the markets for some time to come. Our collaborative agreement with JWG-IT allows both organisations to bring a combination of deep expertise of the operational requirements with a pan-European delivery capability expected by our most demanding clients. Our combined efforts will focus on helping wholesale firms to build the most competitive business models underpinned by the latest technology, while meeting the prevailing regulatory requirements,” adds Christie.

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