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Caitlin McErlane

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Caitlin McErlane is a partner in Baker McKenzie’s Financial Services & Regulatory Group in the London office. Caitlin's practice focuses on advising a range of global financial institutions on complex and high value regulatory matters. She advises banks, major corporates, payment institutions and asset managers on navigating UK and EU financial services regulation. She has particular experience in advising clients on regulatory implementation projects, day-to-day compliance issues, and regulatory issues arising in the context of large-scale transactions. She also expertise in the areas of banking and wholesale financial markets regulation, in particular in the FX and fixed income space, alongside experience advising market infrastructure providers, including major international exchanges, trading platforms, clearing systems and payment services providers, on a variety of compliance issues. Caitlin is also a member of the Baker's ESG and sustainability taskforce, and advises a range of clients on the drafting and implementation of ESG policies and the implications of becoming a signatory to the UNPRI and the Stewardship Code. Caitlin is an authority on regulatory reforms in the sustainability space and sits on a number of trade association working groups. She has recently been interviewed by Climate Action on her work and is a frequent speaker on the subject.

On 30 January 2024, the UK government announced its first equivalence decision in relation to the new overseas funds regime (OFR). The government has granted equivalence in respect of the pan-EEA UCITS regime, meaning that UCITS funds established in the EEA can be marketed to UK retail investors once the OFR becomes operational later this year. The FCA set out its proposals to operationalize the regime in December 2023.

On 4 December 2023, the FCA published a consultation on rules and guidance to integrate the Overseas Funds Regime (OFR) into the Handbook and to enable recognition of overseas funds from jurisdictions approved by HM Treasury. The new rules and guidance will operationalize the OFR, implementing the regime’s framework to allow recognized overseas funds to be marketed to UK retail investors. The proposals include the information to be submitted with an application for recognition, notifications of changes, and enhanced disclosures regarding lack of access to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and Financial Ombudsman Service.

Join us on 18 January 2024 as our Baker McKenzie experts – joined by Adam Jacobs Dean of AIMA and other industry specialists – explore the continuing evolution of ESG regulation and compliance challenges that firms can expect to encounter in the new year. This session will focus on the FCA’s new ESG product labelling regime (the “SDR”), upcoming changes to the EU’s SFDR regime, and emerging best practices in ESG governance.

The Financial Conduct Authority has issued important new guidance on receipt of market soundings in the latest edition of Market Watch, the FCA’s newsletter on market conduct issues. The FCA’s Market Watch 75 newsletter reminds buy-side firms that they have an obligation to independently assess whether they possess inside information from a market sounding that would prohibit them from trading.

Our London Financial Services Regulatory Group recently hosted a webinar where they discussed recent developments about the Mansion House Reforms presented by the Chancellor in July 2023 and what they mean for the industry. We are pleased to share with you a recording of this webinar, for the benefit of those who weren’t able to catch it.

On 11 October 2023, Ashley Alder, Chair of the FCA, delivered a speech on the FCA’s priorities for updating and improving the UK regulatory regime for asset managers. Covering a number of interesting angles, the speech sets out a sketch of the FCA’s vision for the UK asset management regime going forward, and includes some helpful clarity for the industry about the direction of regulatory reform. The speech highlights in particular the following priorities for reform: ensuring a more proportionate approach to the regulation of AIFMs; updating the retail funds regime; and supporting technological innovation in the sector.

On 11 October 2023, Ashley Alder, Chair of the FCA, delivered a speech on the FCA’s priorities for updating and improving the UK regulatory regime for asset managers. Covering a number of interesting angles, the speech sets out a sketch of the FCA’s vision for the UK asset management regime going forward, and includes some helpful clarity for the industry about the direction of regulatory reform. The speech highlights in particular the following priorities for reform: ensuring a more proportionate approach to the regulation of AIFMs; updating the retail funds regime; and supporting technological innovation in the sector.

The EU’s Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) aims to promote, improve and ensure operational resilience within the financial services sector. It comes into effect on 17 January 2025. Last month, six months into the two-year implementation period, the European Supervisory Authorities published a consultation package regarding the first batch of certain draft regulatory technical standards and draft implementing technical standards on certain aspects of DORA.

On 6 July 2023, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) announced the launch of a Common Supervisory Action (CSA) with EU National Competent Authorities on sustainability-related disclosures and the integration of sustainability risks in the investment fund sector. Asset managers with EU touchpoints should have regard to the CSA and its output when considering emerging enforcement risk in this area.