When my publisher, Jim Wiandt, and Index Publications’ head of editorial, Matt Hougan, first asked me to take on the role of editing this new magazine, I was excited and honoured.
For me, the US Journal of Indexes (JoI) has always been the repository of the best research and debate on the index industry. If you want to research the pros and cons of fundamental indexation, understand why indexing bonds presents so many challenges, or look at different ways of segmenting the equity market—to give three random examples—back issues of JoI will have all the content you need to form a balanced opinion.
In our new publication we aim to build on this excellent heritage and to provide to European readers the very best research from across the local indexing and exchange-traded product industry.
We’ll cover cutting-edge index development from Europe’s benchmark providers, which passive investment products are attracting local investors’ money, and Europe as an investment destination. We’ll examine European exchanges and trading platforms and how index investing actually works in practice across an often complex region.
Consider this inaugural issue: although we’re now over two years into recovery from the depths of the financial crisis, regulators worldwide are still dealing with the aftermath of the 2008/09 credit crunch. Almost every area of the financial market now faces new rules, which in turn may mean changes in business models and a rethink of the way in which indexed investment products are built and then offered to investors. Meanwhile, taxes are on the rise as governments face large budget deficits.
“Changing regulations, shifting taxes” is therefore our central theme for this issue.
Elaine Keane, associate at law firm Maples and Calder, provides an excellent overview of the evolving regulatory landscape in our introductory article. Following her paper, five legal and tax experts from both sides of the Atlantic—Simon Gleeson, Matt Tombs, George Simon, John McGuire and Francine Rosenberger—give their opinions on the same topic in our roundtable discussion. It’s an engaging read and the interviewees’ comments leave plenty of food for thought.
I’ve contributed an article on what I believe is still a relatively little-covered area and one that concerns the majority of global equity trackers—the effect of withholding taxes on index returns. Mark Cerimele and Shawn Travis, investment product and tax experts from Vanguard, and Kerry White, managing director at BNY Mellon, respond in a joint article, explaining the efforts being undertaken to improve the tax efficiency of certain passive investment funds.
Danièle Tohmé-Adet of BNP Paribas analyses whether all mutual funds could eventually end up as exchange-traded funds, and what this implies for the investment industry. Finally, Deborah Fuhr of BlackRock gives a broad overview of the rapidly changing ETF market, highlighting some of the key regulatory and tax developments.
In forthcoming, bimonthly issues, we’ll be looking at the index industry in Europe in detail, examining how best to index inflation and devoting a whole edition of the Journal to the topic of risk.
Please sign up at www.indexuniverse.eu/joi if you’d like to receive JoI Europe for free in an electronic version. That offer is open to all, while print copies are also available for free to institutional investors. See page 6 for details on how to sign up.