Matheson was delighted to welcome Michael D’Arcy T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform with special responsibility for Financial Services and Insurance to their Dublin office for a briefing on MiFID II and the launch of the Matheson MiFID II Directory.
The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, otherwise known as ‘MiFID II’, will reshape securities trading on European markets and beyond. Over 7 years in the making, 30,000 pages and over 1.4 million paragraphs of rules, MiFID II represents the most substantial overhaul of financial markets regulation in more than a decade.
Speaking at the event, Minister D’Arcy said –
The last 10 years have been unprecedented in the history of financial markets. The financial crisis exposed weaknesses in the functioning and in the transparency of financial markets. The evolution of financial markets has highlighted the need to strengthen the regulatory framework of financial markets in order to increase transparency, better protect investors, reinforce confidence, and ensure that regulators have sufficient powers to enforce these rules."
The new legislation, which came into effect on 3 January this year, is a comprehensive set of European reforms and aims to create more transparent financial markets, enhance investor protections and to improve client outcomes.
Joe Beashel partner and head of the Regulatory Risk Management and Compliance team at Matheson discussed the key changes –
“This concept of regulating the securities markets is not new. However MiFID II introduces reforms in the areas of markets, consumer protection rules, new products rules as well as the internal workings of firms. At Matheson we are involved in broad ranging MiFID II implementation projects for both our domestic and international clients, and are involved in shaping the Irish implementation of MiFID II through industry working groups.
"Our Brexit work for our clients seeking contingency plans for post Brexit has meant we are involved in obtaining authorisations for new firms under MiFID II and extending out licences of existing firms, including banks and super mancos. This Brexit work will create a bigger pool of investment firms in Ireland and make the market more competitive."
Everyone who trades on a European market is affected; banks, fund managers, exchanges, trading venues, high-frequency traders, brokers, pension funds, retail investors and all the other intermediaries who sit between the buyer and the seller. Regulators are also targeting new market technology, such as high-speed trading, where deals are executed in fractions of seconds.
Addressing guests at the event Louise Dobbyn, Senior Associate at Matheson, discussed the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead –
“MiFID II is a distinctly unique piece of European legislation, due to the breath of regulatory requirements to address the rapidly evolving markets. We are seeing firms re-consider their business strategies and change their offerings to deal with this challenging regulation and also to take advantage of the business opportunities of MiFID II. Its impact on markets in the EU and beyond is an example of the globalisation of the financial services industry."