FCA Director Summarizes 2015 Regulatory Initiatives Applicable to Hedge Fund Managers and Financial Markets

In a recent speech delivered at the Investment Company Institute Global Trading and Market Structure Conference in London, David Lawton, Director of Markets Policy and International at the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), reflected on what 2015 meant for the regulation of wholesale markets and the funds industry. Noting that change has come from several sectors (new technology, market players, innovation and regulation), Lawton highlighted some of the “more important” market policy developments and how they might contribute to the “core of timeless, immutable goals which policy and regulators are pursuing” – namely, the goal of “fair and effective markets.” This article summarizes Lawton’s speech, outlining his comments on the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II), dealing commissions, market abuse regulation, capital markets union and various U.K. market reviews. Lawton’s remarks are pertinent to hedge fund managers as they provide valuable insight into the FCA’s priorities and anticipated directions for the upcoming year, especially relating to MiFID II. For additional insight from Lawton, see “FCA Urges Hedge Fund Managers to Prepare for MiFID II” (Oct. 29, 2015).

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