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Money managers transfer £65 billion of assets out of U.K. as Brexit nears – study

Money managers have transferred more than £65 billion ($86 billion) of assets invested in funds out of the U.K. in preparation for the U.K.'s exit from the European Union on March 29, according to a study by think tank New Financial.

The think tank found in a study published Monday that 269 firms in the banking and financial services industry in the U.K. relocated parts of their business, moved workers or set up new legal entities in the European Union. Nearly 250 of these firms have set up new hubs for their EU business, and more than 210 have applied for new licenses. Some 75 of these were money management firms.

Some 43% of money management firms selected Dublin as a new hub for their EU business, followed by 35% of firms that chose Luxembourg, 7% picked Frankfurt and 7% selected Paris. The remainder moved to Amsterdam or other European cities.

Among the investment firms that selected Dublin 21 are traditional money management firms and nine are alternative management firms. By comparison 15 traditional managers and eight alternatives firms chose Luxembourg.

The study found 239 firms confirmed the moves were Brexit-related, New Financial said. Some 213 firms obtained new licenses and 165 have already made the move, the study found. Some 77 firms were also expanding an existing office, and 65 said were hiring additional staff.

Under different European directives, U.K.-based firms used about 5,400 U.K. rights, known as passports, to access the European market. About 2,500 of these were passports related to three key money management regulations — Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive, Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and UCITS Directive.

In response to Brexit, the study said money management firms also moved their EU-based MiFID II hub from London to a new location that was not one of their existing EU offices. Some 18 money management firms selected Dublin or Luxembourg for this function.