U.K. FCA: Retail Funds May Use Side Pockets to Hold Assets Affected By Russia‑Related Sanctions

Retail investment funds are required to maintain sufficient liquidity to enable them to meet frequent redemption requests. When the U.K. and other nations imposed economic sanctions on Russian actors in response to the invasion of Ukraine, many Russia-related investments plunged in value and could no longer be liquidated. To address that concern, in July 2022, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority adopted rules that permit retail funds to put assets affected by those sanctions into side pockets. A recent Simmons & Simmons program discussed the applicability of the side pocket rules, their primary requirements and the key concerns for fund managers that may wish to create a side pocket. The program featured Andrew Desmond and John Dooley, both managing associates at Simmons & Simmons; and Rachel Ellison, retail fund compliance specialist at The Investment Association, a U.K. funds industry trade association. This article distills their insights, with additional commentary from Dooley. See “Scope of Global Sanctions From the Ukraine/Russia War and How Designated Person Standards Affect Fund Managers (Part One of Two)” (Jul. 21, 2022).

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