The majority of financial services companies in the UK need a licence from the Financial Conduct Authority (‘FCA’) before they can commence business. The licence they require is Part 4A Permission (a reference to that section of the Financial Services & Markets Act 2000, as amended by the Financial Services Act 2012).
ACA (Europe) Compliance is specialised in securing that licence for wholesale financial companies, such as hedge fund and long-only managers, private equity companies, investment advisors, institutional brokers, banks, e-money, venture capitalists and cap-intro.
The UK Regulatory Authorisation team that ACA has brought together is second to none and has managed well over 500 FSA/FCA licence applications in the last 12 years, enjoying 100% authorisation success. Those applications have ranged from complex derivative managers, private equity and large management groups to brokers and smaller boutiques. No-one achieves that amount of success without competence and tenacity. Our team has achieved their track record through a combination of technical and process knowledge, persistence and conscientiousness.
With that amount of experience and success, ACA (Europe) is ideally placed to guide any client through the process and, possibly more importantly, overcome issues that might otherwise present a barrier to that client getting their licence.
We meet all of our clients as often as required during the pre-submission stage to identify any issues, before we then professionally prepare the application pack, present it to the FCA and manage the process through to successful receipt of your licence. In situations where the client must maintain confidentiality, we are experienced in managing the process discreetly and with reduced client input and have been commended on our discretion and results-focused approach.
To the best of our ability we attempt to keep to the lead-time our clients have given us and we are extremely adept at making the process as quick, smooth and painless as possible..
We believe our approach differs to our competitors and the authorisation success our team members have achieved over the last decade evidences our expertise and results-driven focus.
Whilst we can manage the Part 4A Permission process as a stand-alone project; for start-up situations we typically see the application to be part of an overall first 12-month compliance plan, including the development of the various manuals, controls, documents, procedures and monitoring programmes necessary to meet the FCA’s expectations. Consequently, we can manage the FCA application as a singular project or we can invite our clients to retain us on an on-going basis (min 12-month period) to address all regulatory and compliance issues that a new firm will need to consider – which of course includes obtaining that FCA licence.
Our retained appointment and this wider commitment to focussing not just on the licence but also post-authorisation is explained to the FSA in the initial submission and we feel comfortable that it is looked upon favourably. Additionally, at a time of heightened professional and legal fees, being able to smooth out our costs over the entire year is often very welcome.