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February 15, 2012

New City Initiative to Launch in Europe

By Spear's

New City Initiative, the lobbying group of small- and medium-sized UK wealth managers, is to launch in Europe in an attempt to influence EU financial regulations

by Josh Spero

New City Initiative, the lobbying group of small- and medium-sized UK wealth managers, is to launch in Europe in an attempt to influence EU financial regulations. The group, according to one of its members, gauged positive interest at a meeting of French wealth managers and will launch later this year.

Although there are many fewer firms in Continental Europe of the size of founding members Stanhope Capital, Vestra Wealth or Odey Asset Management – the sector is dominated by large banks – the source at NCI said that there were enough to make a new branch worthwhile.

The source said that NCI had been advised in its meetings with officials from the FSA and government that if they wanted to influence European policy, they would have to set up in Europe, rather than just in Britain. With Europe considering measures like a financial transactions tax, wealth managers want to have a voice at the table.

Spear’s first reported on New City Initiative in late 2010, when founder Daniel Pinto of Stanhope Capital said that NCI would campaign on issues such as alignment of manager interests with clients’ interest: ‘If you don’t tackle the core issues of why are people inclined to take excessive risks, you will have another 2008.’

New City Initiative also offers internships at its member firms to disadvantaged people. In 2011, Spear’s awarded its first City Champion Award for moral leadership to NCI, saying:

‘Spear’s has long been concerned about this and when combined with a wider lack of social mobility, a sense of disadvantage as evidenced by the summer riots and in Occupy the Stock Exchange, and government cuts of social services, we’re headed for trouble.

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‘That’s why Spears have introduced the City Champion Award. Chosen by the Spear’s editorial staff, this award is given to a person, company or scheme which promotes the higher moral aspirations they have for the City and provides an example to others, using its resources for social good.

‘The first winner of this award is a scheme which has brought together some of the City’s best wealth management firms and encourages them to provide internships to children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Individuals who normally would stand little or no chance of getting a job in finance simply because they lack connections or the right accent or the ability to fit in.

‘This scheme sets an example. It says, Tear down your walls and bring in the best, a sentiment Spear’s entirely endorses. So I am very happy to announce that the first Spear’s City Champion Award goes to, the New City Initiative.’

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