Access to Funding and Long-Term Investment: European Commission’s Objectives Shared by Global Investors, Says CFA Institute

Media Contacts

Nicole Haroutunian
Director, Corporate Communications EMEA
+ 44 (0) 20-7330-9551

Brussels , (None), , 21 February 2013

Faced with the need to kick start economic growth and the difficulties experienced by EU companies in accessing finance, the EU economy is in need of measures which will encourage sustainable investment and re-launch economic growth. CFA Institute supports Commissioner Michel Barnier’s call for boosting long-term investment in European companies, and encourages the global focus on identifying both barriers and opportunities to channel long-term funding towards the growth of the European economy.

Speaking today at a joint CFA Institute – Federation of European Securities Exchanges (FESE) conference held in Brussels (watch again), EU Commissioner Michel Barnier called for a new focus on restoring long-term investment in Europe while continuing efforts towards investor protection, trust and transparency. Claire Fargeot, head of Standards and Financial Market Integrity at CFA Institute, commented: “We are delighted to see Commissioner Barnier reaffirm his commitment to long-term investment, an objective very much aligned with our mission to champion an ethical investment profession that truly serves the needs of wider society. Representing a diverse community of investors worldwide, CFA Institute is looking forward to playing an integral role in this fundamental initiative.”

The results of a CFA Institute survey, announced today, point to a clear need for new initiatives to open up channels of financing – both by tackling existing barriers and by encouraging alternative sources of financing.
  • Investors viewed initiatives developed thus far for SMEs access to funding – such as specialised funding or proportionate listing and disclosure requirements – as having been met with mixed success. 
  • Barriers to investing in SMEs remain high – 72% believe the lack of liquidity is a barrier, 52% are concerned by the lack of research coverage, and 38 % point to differences in accounting standards or poor quality of financial disclosure.
  • To come up with the right mix of policy measures and incentives, a multi-dimensional approach is called for. Providing further tax relief on investing in SMEs was supported by 67% of European respondents, and 40% believed reducing capital adequacy requirements would facilitate investors’ interest in SMEs.  Others pointed to the creation of European social entrepreneurship funds, mentoring programmes and furthering EU aid programmes for SMEs.

CFA Institute is committed to contributing to this nascent initiative and to working hand-in-hand with European policy makers as they seek to deliver the long-term investment boost which is needed to grow the European economy.

About FESE

The Federation of European Securities Exchanges (FESE) represents 46 exchanges in equities, bonds, derivatives and commodities through 21 full members from 30 countries, as well as 4 Observer Members. FESE is a keen defender of the Internal Market and many of its members have become multi‐jurisdictional exchanges, providing market access across multiple investor communities. FESE represents the operators of public Regulated Markets. Regulated Markets provide both institutional and retail investors with transparent and neutral price‐formation. Securities admitted to trading on our markets have to comply with stringent initial and ongoing disclosure requirements and accounting and auditing standards imposed by EU laws.

As of January 2013, FESE members had up to 8,964 companies listed on their markets, of which 8% are foreign companies contributing towards the European integration and providing broad and liquid access to Europe’s capital markets. Many of our members also organise specialised markets that allow small and medium sized companies across Europe to access the capital markets; 1,444 companies were listed in these specialised markets/segments in equity, increasing choice for investors and issuers.

CFA Institute

CFA Institute is the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and credentials. The organization is a champion for ethical behavior in investment markets and a respected source of knowledge in the global financial community. The end goal: to create an environment where investors’ interests come first, markets function at their best, and economies grow. CFA Institute has over 145,000 members in 163 countries and territories, including 140,000 CFA charterholders, and 148 member societies. For more information, visit