The statutory prescription of the investment fund industry is supplemented by the industry's self-regulation, which e.g. ensures that investors and advisers have access to comparable statistics on investment returns, risk levels, costs, etc. This self-regulation takes place in the form of:
- Industry standards; All members of the Danish Investment Fund Association shall meet the industry standards subject to ongoing adjustment whenever needed.
- Fund Governance-recommendations in respect of the good management of investment funds - are only recommendations. Investment funds that do not follow recommendations shall explain why they deviate from the recommendations.
- IFB have approved recommendations for best practise for managing investment associations. The recommendations are part of the objective of the business to offer the best products to the investors. Today legislation makes demands which management must address. Our recommendations take it a step further and inspire the management on how to structure their work. Among other things the recommendations also cover the stipulation of a business model and how to follow up.
- Industry recommendations and guidelines. Describe principles and methods that may inspire the industry to prepare and improve own policies, business procedures, etc. The industry recommendations and guidelines convey a sort of "best practise" and function as internal working papers within the industry.
The industry standards are defining e.g. how investment funds shall categorise the individual investment funds. This ensures that data is comparable across the industry. Moreover, the industry standards are also regulating the industry's official return statistics, and the standards thus contribute to ensuring comparability, openness and transparency. The industry standards are also describing how an investment fund is permitted to market historical returns, i.e. it is not permitted to extrapolate previous years' good performance. Historic returns do not guarantee future returns and price developments.
The key figure in respect of costs, APR (annual percentage rate), is implemented as an industry standard.
The Fund Governance recommendations focus on the interaction between the investment fund's management board, investors and the public and are based on international and national standards within the area.
Fund Governance recommendations define "good management of investment funds". Good management is the management behaviour that ensures the best possible conditions for the investors and a sound cooperation with stakeholders.
Fund Governance recommendations are supplementing the legislation. Examples of governance matters comprised by the legislation are the rules about the obligation to trade independently and solely in the interest of the investors, rules on policies in respect of conflicts of interests, risk management and compliance as well as requirements to board members' expertise. The legislation also stipulates a number of detailed requirements as to the board's preparation of its work, including the preparation of policies and contingency plans. Moreover, the legislation defines principles for the delegation and separation of functions.
The Danish Investment Fund Association prepares industry recommendations whenever there is a need to define common guidelines within an area. The Association has e.g. taken the initiative to ensuring the best possible interaction between the calculations of net asset values within the investment funds and InvesteringsForeningsBørsen, respectively. In 2008, principles were defined for the valuation of less liquid bonds. This work contributes to ensuring that investors can purchase and sell their investment certificates at true prices and that investment funds are calculating key figures, etc. based on similar criteria. In 2007, the Danish Investment Fund Association defined principles for stating trading costs within annual reports, and in 2011, an industry recommendation was launched to strengthen the communication to investors in connection with the mergers of sub-funds.
Guidelines can be used as inspiration for the industry's individual planning. In the spring 2011, the Danish Investment Fund Association prepared guidelines for the document "Key Investor Information". In 2014, these guidelines have been updated to comprise "Significant Investor Information". In 2011, the Danish Investment Fund Association cooperated with the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority and auditors on the preparation of guidelines in respect of "Management reports to be included in annual reports". The purpose of preparing the guidelines was to underpin a high quality in annual reports within the industry. In 2012, the industry prepared guidelines in respect of the appointment of an investor representative (Investor forum). The purpose of preparing these guidelines was to inform about the new rules and thus contributing to the implementation of these rules within the industry.