Phil was invited to research an article for a magazine published by the Digital Monetary Institute at the thinktank OMFIF that is looking at the future of capital markets in 2022. It focused on how digital finance offers hope of internationalising emerging markets.
It looked at how international financial institutions are examining the potential of the ongoing revolution in digital money to enable emerging markets and developing countries to participate more in both local currency and international capital markets.
Phil spoke with experts at the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the Bank of International Settlements.
The article looks at the ways in which digital finance has changed the ways that policymakers in emerging and developing are adapting to allow the creation of digital money channels in their economies and the benefits they bring in terms of financial access and inclusion. It also looks at how international financial institutions can work with EMDCs to make the step up from personal finance towards using digitalisation to improve the way they issue debt on the capital markets. It looks at both opportunities and threats in a wide-ranging discussion.
The long-form article can be found here.
Phil helped organise the coverage by the magazine GlobalMarkets of the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank that were held in October 2021. First the second time the annual meetings had to be held virtually because of the coronavirus. This means that the newsroom existed only on Microsoft Teams with editors and journalists reporting from various locations. We built on our experience of 2020 to interact with the organised events through virtual platforms. The newspaper was published as a PDF rather than printed and distributed manually.
He wrote two features analysing key issues that came up at the meetings of the finance ministers and central bankers of the 187 member countries. The first look at the future that surrounded accusations that IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva had put pressure on staff to alter data on China when she was CEO at the World Bank. The feature was converted into a news story as the issue was resolved in Georgieva’s favour on the eve of the start of the meetings. The story is here.
The other looked at the agenda that experts believe that World Bank president David Malpass should pursue to ensure that the multilateral lender remains relevant in the post-Covid era. At its heart is the need for a massive replenishment of the finances of the International Development Association, its arm that gives grants and makes loans to the poorest countries. The story is here.
Business Life, a Channel Islands-based magazine aimed at the financial sector, commissioned Phil to look at whether Europe was suffering from Japanisation – a structural shift to a low growth, low inflation near-zero interest rates that the Asian superpower has seen for almost 30 years.
He spoke to many analysts including Holger Schmieding at Berenberg Bank who disputed the idea that Japan was “suffering”, Andrew Milligan at Aberdeen Standard Investments looked at the impact on banks and advisers to high wealth individuals and Amit kara at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research highlighted the challenge that investment managers will face to secure higher yields in Europe and other Japanised economies.
The article is here.
Phil wrote and researched an article for The Review, the magazine of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment, on real estate investment trust (REIT) industry. It was primarily an educational article explaining: the technical details of how REITs work; the pros and cons of investing in them; why, when and for who REITs are an appropriate asset to invest in and the concept of NAV and how it works in relation to REITs. He spoke to a number of people including senior accountants, market players and financial advisers. The full article is here
The EU’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) will radically change the way that its securities and derivatives markets are regulated. While the impact of the 148-page document will affect every nook and cranny of financial markets, one of the most significant impacts will be on investment managers.
Phil Thornton looked at the challenges that fund managers and their advisers faced in two article for the magazine and website of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment.
The first looked at one of the most important issues – the need for sell-side companies to separate charges for execution from charges for access to research. Phil spoke with a number of fund managers and advisers to get an idea of how prepared they would be for MiFID II. The good news was that it showed that more than 60% have already set, or begun to set, their research budgets, and are making decisions on which payment methods to use. The article is here.
The second identified the sizkey themes that financial participants need to bear in mind: governance; advice; trading and execution; fees and inducements; corporate governance; and trsnaparency. The article is here.
We wrote and researched two articles for the latest edition of EMEAfinance magazine and website. The first was based on an interview with Tomasz Telma, regional director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia at the International Finance Corporation, the private sector-focused arm of the World Bank Group. With the prices of oil and other commodities hitting new low levels he set out his vision for building a model of long-term sustainable growth for a region that is still seen as an unexploited emerging market. The article can be found here.
In the run-up to the annual meetings of the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, we looked at the bank’s investment in financial institutions (FI). We spoke with Nick Tesseyman, its managing director for financial institutions, Alexander Saveliev, head of operations and portfolio for FIs as well as with Erik Berglof, who was until recently its chief economist. The article looks at the role that investment in FIs has played over the 25 years from 1991 to 2016 from the initial investments as the countries opened up after the collapse of the Soviet Union, through to the steps taken in the midst of the global financial crisis, to more recent investments in the current tricvy volatile and low-interest rates environment. The article can be found here.