Dublin Calling Blog with Peter McKeown Walley
Peter McKeown Walley, Legal Counsel, Natixis Investment Managers
DL: Tell me a little about your role
PMcKW: I am Legal Counsel in Natixis Investment Managers in London and work on Natixis’ UK OEIC and Irish UCITS self-managed investment company.
DL: How is Brexit affecting your business?
PMcKW: From a funds perspective, there are a couple of issues that jump out. We sell our Irish SMIC in the UK via the UCITS passport so distribution arrangements post Brexit are something that is important for us. We are also interested in how Brexit will affect outsourcing to the UK particularly in terms of the location of Designated Persons. Market infrastructure issues are also coming up – what will Brexit mean in terms of clearing, EMIR, etc.
DL: How are you coping with it?
PMcKW: With so much uncertainty about what the Brexit deal will look like – or over whether there will even be a deal – it is really difficult to plan with any degree of certainty. However, we are doing scenario planning on an ongoing basis and are keeping in close contact with our advisers and board directors about how we plan to deal with each scenario. Communication and constant review are key to our Brexit approach at the moment.
DL: What are the greatest challenges?
PMcKW: The lack of certainty at the moment is the biggest challenge. This applies both to the political approach and to the regulatory guidance. From a regulator’s perspective, they are trying to balance the need to avoid front running the political process with the need to provide firms with guidance on what is expected of them. It’s a difficult balance but leaves firms trying to do their best with very little indication of what is required, what the final outcome will be and what transitional arrangements will apply.
DL: What insights are you hoping take away from Dublin Calling?
PMcKW: It would be great to get some insights on current approaches to substance, outsourcing and time commitments of directors and Designated Persons and a sense for how this might play out. Another area of interest is resourcing and how easy or difficult it might be to recruit individuals with experience and expertise.
DL: These are certainly topics which are coming up again and again as we speak with firms who are looking at Dublin as their Brexit solution so they are pretty much top of our list to cover at Dublin Calling. We’ll also touch a little on how the regulatory environments and recruitment markets in London and Dublin differ – because Dublin is not just a smaller version of London, the differences are a bit more nuanced.
Many thanks to Peter for sharing his thoughts and I look forward to seeing Peter at Dublin Calling on 3 October.