Confusion reigns over Mifid, finds JWG-IT and IFR report

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The IFR Market Intelligence report Who’s Ready for Mifid?, by PJ Di Giammarino, chief executive of think-tank JWG-IT, is the first comprehensive healthcheck of EU capital markets’ new capabilities. The results are worrying. From the 73 responses to the survey, which cover a representative cross-section of the industry and feature both buy- and sell-side companies, there is still widespread confusion about what needs to be done to comply with the directive and about the consequences for those who don’t.

The main findings are that the sell-side is feeling the heat across all the change drivers; significant disconnects are apparent across the back-office; firm resourcing and readiness varies considerably. Compliance departments are often unaware of their true position and many infrastructure managers hold a very different view; 95% expect fines for non-compliance in 2008 and are concerned about who will carry the can; and all expect a ‘best execution’ challenge from their customers.

This uncertainty will have profound implications for the next three to four years, as 20% of firms are investing to gain competitive advantage from their Mifid programmes now, and some of them will have the capability to change the market.

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