The Cyprus Investment Funds Association (CIFA) has been established on February 2013 at the initiative of the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA) as a natural development of the progress made thus far in promoting Cyprus as a competitive investment funds jurisdiction. The Board of CIFA is comprised of highly reputable and experienced industry professionals spanning all aspects of the industry, including fund management, administration, investment advisory, banking, audit and legal.
The mission of CIFA is to:
As part of achieving its mission, CIFA has established nine Technical Committees and Working Groups comprising of experienced industry professionals which will analyse global industry developments as well as legal and regulatory changes in Cyprus, the EU and beyond.
Having gone through the initial stage after its establishment, CIFA is now widely recognized by the Funds Industry stakeholders as the competent Organization in Cyprus, providing support, guidance and technical insight to a robust membership base, representing the Industry at an international level and locally before the Supervisory Authority and, most importantly, taking the initiative for the development and promotion of Cyprus as an attractive funds jurisdiction. The inclusion of the Funds Sector in the National Action Plan for Growth gives a measure of how effective our efforts have been so far.
A major contribution to our goal to provide quality information and technical insight to our members, was the organization of the Cyprus Funds Summit on October this year, aiming at updating local stakeholders on International and Cypriot developments in the Funds Industry. The participation of more than 20 prominent experts from abroad as speakers, and the presence of more than 350 participants gives an impression of the success of this event.
While appreciating what has been achieved so far, we need to look forward to what our goals and objectives are and the initiatives we have to undertake for their successful completion. The CIFA Board and its Technical Committees are called upon to continue their concerted efforts in implementing the actions envisaged. I also invite all our members, to get actively involved and be supportive to the CIFA initiatives, in pursuing its mandate.
It is positive and encouraging to see that EU policymakers are embracing the opportunities that the asset management industry offers in terms of supporting economic growth and longterm financing. By channeling the savings of firms and households to companies and governments into concrete retirement plans and projects, the asset management industry finances a sizeable share of economic activity.
Investment fund assets worldwide stood at a new all-time high of EUR28.29 trillion at end 2014 of which one third is manage in Europe, reflecting growth of 3.9percent during the fourth quarter and 18.9 percent since end 2013. Asset managers have a key role to play in enhancing the efficiency of savings; allocation. We need to encourage European households and savers to save more for retirement.
In the ongoing debate over asset managers; potential systemic risk, a growing number of securities market regulators are skeptical that asset managers or individual funds can be the source of systemic risk. In fact, asset managers cannot be regarded as a source of systemic risk for the reason that their business model requires them to act as agents for their clients and thus, unlike banks, do not trade on their own account and take risks onto their balance sheet. Before definitive conclusions are to be drawn in these ongoing debates, it remains essential that regulators rely on robust data on which to base unbiased conclusions.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my warm thanks to the Government of the Republic for its strong support and continuous assistance to the initiatives of further promoting and developing the Funds Industry in Cyprus.
Special thanks are also extended to the President and Board Members of CIPA for their cooperation and support in promoting Cyprus as an attractive funds jurisdiction, as well as to our strategic sponsors who have substantially supported the initiation and implementation of the project for building a strong funds sector in Cyprus.
I also extend our appreciation to the CySec for their positive stance, accessibility and willingness to consider the views of the industry and be attentive to our proposals. My warm thanks go also to members of the Board and Technical Committees for their valuable contribution and support in achieving our goals as well as to our members for their unfailing support and trust for their continuous efforts in the challenging and stressful environment.