Following on from part 1 of this article, where we highlighted the benefits of the MiFID II Implementation Group (MIG) and how it has helped members better understand and develop solutions to key MiFID II/R issues, with a particular focus on those surrounding systematic internalisers, we take a similar approach in this article and examine the topic of research.
The guidance note on research has provided insight on what exactly the MiFID II obligations means in terms of implementation, how research should be distributed to clients and how it will be paid for.
Research domain model
The domain model below outlines the 5 key capabilities of research. These capabilities have been put in place to make MiFID II implementation for this topic more manageable, as they allow members to discuss all 14 key issues listed in a logical manner to result in either the group reaching a consensus or identifying that more information is required for implementation.
In this article, we focus on 3 of the 14 key considerations, which have been addressed in our guidance note on research.
Definition of research in the context of inducements – “MiFID research”
Research in this context should be understood as research material or services concerning financial instruments or assets which suggest investment strategies and substantial opinions that contain analysis and original insights to reach conclusions.
- Greater clarity on what exactly qualifies as research is required, e.g., do associated services, such as written documents, pitching, calls or meetings, fall into the scope?
- How should research be protected? Would firms have to watermark research?
- Will the FCA prohibition on corporate access be extended across the EU?
Charging for research
As the obligation for investment firms currently stands, they should retain sufficient control over the spending for research, the collection of client research charges and the determination of payments.
- Can investment firms charge clients for research?
- How will firms determine the pricing of research?
- Will the MiFID II rules also be applicable to firms caught by UCITS and/or AIFMD?
Definition of research payment account
When there is a separate research payment account, this account should only be funded by a specific research charge to the client based on a research budget set by the firm and should not be linked to the number/value of transactions executed on behalf of clients.
- How will a research payment account be set up?
- How will the research payment account be managed?
- Should firms assume that client money rules apply to all research payment accounts?
We have only outlined questions relating to 3 of the 14 key issues listed in our research domain model. This represents just over 20 percent of our guidance note on this topic, which spans over 40 pages.
By using our guidance notes, along with attending frequent meetings with other significant players in the industry, our MIG members are able to gain insight and answers into the most complicated parts of MiFID II implementation. Members are able to take new perspectives and substantial information back to their own organisations and use them to their complete benefit.
We at JWG work to track regulations and impacts constantly and to keep our platforms updated with the most relevant information. To stay up to date on recent developments and become part of the conversation on research and other MiFID topics, join our LinkedIn group.
Additionally, stay tuned for part three which will delve into inducements and its related topics, such as quality enhancement tests and acceptable minor non-monetary benefits.