Gillian Smith

Of Counsel

London


Read full biography at www.orrick.com
Gillian Smith, an of counsel in Orrick's London office, is a member of the Banking & Finance group. Gillian’s practice includes advising both banking and corporate clients on a wide range of domestic and international structured finance transactions including syndicated lending, investment and development facilities, financing multi-national real estate portfolios, funds finance, securitisation and cross-border leveraged finance for a range of sectors.Gillian has been repeatedly named in Euromoney’s Guide to Leading Banking Lawyers of the World and in Legal Experts, and is recommended by Chambers and Legal 500. She is known for her thorough and effective advice and “incredibly professional” pro-active approach.

Posts by: Gillian Smith

European Commission Republishes CMU Report on Addressing National Barriers to Capital Flows

 

The European Commission has republished a report as part of its Capital Markets Union (CMU) initiative on addressing national barriers to capital flows.

The European Commission originally published the report in February 2017, but later removed it from its website. The European Commission stated that it was made aware of certain inaccuracies, mainly due to incomplete or conflicting information, and so decided to adopt an amended version. The majority of the changes relate to the removal of references to specific member states.

In the report, the European Commission sets out the initial findings of its expert group of representatives of member states on national barriers to cross-border capital flows and the steps that the Commission expects member states to take to address them. The issues highlighted include barriers to the cross-border distribution of investment funds, national approaches to crowdfunding and residence requirements on managers of financial institutions.

European Commission Responds to ECON Concerns About MiFID II Systematic Internalizers Operating Broker Crossing Networks

 

The European and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) has published correspondence between the European Parliament’s negotiating team for the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (“MiFID“) II package of measures and Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis about concerns relating to the potential establishment of networks of systematic internalizers (“SIs“) and of other liquidity providers that might circumvent certain MiFID II obligations, in particular concerning the trading of shares.

In a letter dated February 24, 2017, the negotiating team refers to the European Securities and Markets Authority’s (“ESMA“) letter from February 1 to Olivier Guersent, Director General, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union. The negotiating team and ESMA share the same concern that certain investment firms may be setting up interconnected SIs to cross third-party buying and selling interests via matched principal trading or other types of back-to-back transactions. The negotiating team has asked the European Commission to examine whether these practices comply with the letter and spirit of the MiFID II framework.

Mr. Dombrovskis responded in a letter dated March 16, 2017, setting out the conclusions of an initial investigation into the issue. He explained that a group of exchange operators are concerned about attempts to establish broker crossing networks in which both SIs and high frequency trading (HFT) firms interact in a manner that market operators describe as multilateral. Market operators are concerned that such networks may not be considered a multilateral trading system by all competent authorities, and so some variants of broker crossing networks may not be required to be authorized as multilateral trading facilities (“MTFs“). On the other hand, investment firms argue that the establishment of electronic links between SIs and other liquidity providers would not amount to the creation of an MTF. Market operators have requested that guidance be issued to the effect that such networks involving the rapid exchange of order information between participating SIs is an MTF and should be authorized as such.

The European Commission proposes to engage in a dialogue with ESMA and competent national regulators to determine the jurisdictions that the alleged broker crossing networks could potentially be established in. The European Commission will then engage with the relevant authorities on how to address the establishment of such networks within the MiFID II rules.

European Commission Publishes Inception Impact Assessment on New Prudential Framework for Investment Firms

 

The European Commission has published an inception impact assessment on its review of the appropriate treatment for investment firms.

The impact assessment relates to the Commission’s review of the prudential framework for investment firms, as required by Articles 293(2), 498(2), 508(2) and 508(3) of the Capital Requirements Regulation (“CRR“) (Regulation 575/2013). In November 2016, the European Banking Authority (“EBA“) published a discussion paper on a new prudential framework, with the aim of submitting an opinion and report to the European Commission by June 30, 2017.

The impact assessment provides an overview of the background to the initiative and the European Commission’s ongoing work. The European Commission states that, in light of the EBA’s consultation on the prudential framework, it does not intend to launch its own public consultation. It is, however, carrying out a consultation with industry stakeholders on the proposal. In particular, it intends to liaise with the industry on aspects of the proposal, such as the calibration and impact of any changes to the regime and foreseeable potential costs.

The European Commission states that the bulk of any new rules will take the form of a Regulation. This will be accompanied by a Directive covering elements that need to take the form of a directive for legal reasons, such as organizational and authorization requirements and corporate governance.

The impact assessment indicates that the European Commission will adopt a legislative proposal in the fourth quarter of 2017.

The European Commission is seeking feedback on the impact assessment. The European Commission’s website on impact assessments states that the deadline for comments is April 19, 2017.