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[LONDON] The European Union is unlikely to discriminate against asset managers in London who want to run funds inside the bloc after Brexit, the chief executive of Aberdeen Asset Management, Martin Gilbert, said on Thursday.
Asset managers in Singapore and the United States can run funds in the EU because their home regulatory rules are "equivalent" or in line with the bloc's standards on customer protection.
Mr Gilbert said he expected that asset managers at his and other firms in Britain would be able to do likewise after Britain leaves the EU in 2019.
"What we are probably hoping for is we will continue to be able to manage the Luxembourg funds in our case, as we already do, in Philadelphia, Singapore, Australia, London," Mr Gilbert told Reuters on the sidelines of a financial conference.
"We are not assuming that we will see equivalence disappear."
EU policymakers have called for a tougher "equivalence" regime for Britain than for other non-EU countries because it is Europe's biggest financial market.
It would be hard for the EU to single out Britain for tougher treatment for fund managers, he said.
"That would be pretty harsh treatment of the UK by not allowing us to continue to manage our funds here when we can manage them in Singapore and the US," Mr Gilbert said.
He expects a "pragmatic" trading deal in financial services between the UK and EU to emerge.
The Lloyd's of London insurance market is, however, not betting the house on getting equivalence from the EU, and is opening a subsidiary in Brussels to allow the insurance market to continue writing policies for EU customers after Brexit.
Lloyd's of London chief executive Inga Beale said that in case Britain is not granted "equivalence" by the EU, or at least not in time for Britain's departure at the end of March 2019, the new subsidiary will be open for business by then.
Banks having to increase their EU presence outside the UK face having to move hundreds of jobs, but in the insurance market's case Ms Beale said only 10 to 20 staff would be based in Brussels.
"The other important thing is that Brussels is allowing us to delegate activity back to London, which means a lot of the underwriters and brokers currently trading in London ... can stay here," Ms Beale said.
Brussels regulators understood that the network of underwriters in London which allows new products like cyber-insurance to be developed must not be diluted, she said.