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Irish Funds COVID-19 Update

12 March 2020

We have been closely monitoring the advice and developments relating to the spread of the Coronavirus Covid-19. The situation is fluid and rapidly changing so we will keep very open channels of communication over the coming days and weeks.

The topics below are things you, and those working in your firm, should be aware of in relation to Covid-19 and its impact on our activities and the services we provide to you. Please feel free to share it and also to raise topics or issues which you feel we should cover in future updates.

Member support and our office arrangements

We want contact and connection to be maintained while acting responsibly. In light of the recent government statement, from next week (16 March) we will be working remotely on a temporary basis, but all our team are easily contactable – this link gives email and direct dial numbers for each one of them. We have made and tested business continuity arrangements to ensure we can function as fully as possible and will continue to keep the situation under ongoing review. We are asking our team to continue with planned meetings to the extent possible, facilitated by VC or conference call.

Steering / Working Group meetings – teleconferencing

We have asked all chairs of Steering and Working Groups to make teleconferencing arrangements for their meetings for the foreseeable future.
All Steering and Working Group meetings will be converted to conference calls for the foreseeable future. Your staff who sit on our respective Working Groups should have received communications on this – if they have any questions please ask them to give us a call.

Advocacy and regulatory work
There are a number of live consultation responses and submissions we are working on at present, including the Commission’s MiFID II and NFRD consultations, and we continue to meet/speak with our key policy and regulatory stakeholders at home and abroad. In practical terms:

  • Brussels - A number of coronavirus cases have been identified across the EU institutions and the European and International schools have temporarily closed. Last week the European Parliament put in place a policy restricting access to its buildings for non-staff. The Parliament remained in Brussels this week (rather than moving to Strasbourg) and ended its session on Tuesday with no votes taking place. The European Commission has cancelled all physical events, with these being presented via web-stream where possible. Where possible, meetings we have organised are being re-arranged by phone to ensure minimal disruption.
  • Domestically - The Central Bank are no longer taking physical meetings but meetings are instead being held by conference call. We are not yet aware of other policy setters/public sectors bodies prohibiting physical meetings but expect some curtailment. We will work with our counterparts to ensure that scheduled engagements continue, whether in virtual or physical form. You will also be aware that government formation is yet to be completed and we will also engage politically in an appropriate manner.

Upcoming events

  • International: from other communications many will be already be aware that our US events planned for next week have been postponed until later in the year. We are working to undertake a comprehensive US roadshow in the week of September 28th and will keep you informed. We have also taken the decision to cancel the London Alternative Investment Seminar scheduled for 1st April. For those of you who normally travel to Fund Forum in late June (where we host an industry lunch) we have also been advised that this event has been postponed.
  • Domestic: we have a number of events planned for late April and May and are keeping these under close review. Our technical briefings, which are normally well attended won’t be in physical form for the coming weeks, but we will endeavour to deliver updates and value added content in other ways. We are continuously monitoring and reviewing upcoming events and will advise participants of updates as soon as further information and official guidance becomes available.
  • Irish Funds Annual Dinner, 23 April and Annual Global Funds Conference 21 May, 2020 – at the time of writing we are still planning for these events to continue, but we are monitoring the situation closely and will follow all official advice and guidance - updates will be provided in due course.

We appreciate your support and understanding. No doubt there will be further uncertainty and we will do our best to work with you and maximise our collective effort to minimise the impact of this on our people, the wider community and our industry.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the team. 

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