FCA Imposes Significant Penalties on Asset Manager and Director for Poor Conflicts Management

Although enforcement actions by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) are relatively uncommon, the FCA recently took aim at an asset manager and one of its senior executives for allegedly failing to manage several conflicts of interest in accordance with FCA standards of conduct and the firm’s own policies. The alleged conflicts involved providing financing to an entity with which the firm had an existing business relationship, cross trades and investment of client assets into firm-sponsored vehicles. This article details the facts and circumstances giving rise to the enforcement proceedings and the alleged violations of FCA principles for businesses and approved persons. Although the action involves misconduct by a manager of an open-end fund, it is valuable for PE sponsors to reference to understand the FCA’s stance toward conflicts of interest, affiliate transactions and other areas of manager misconduct. See “Overview of Global Regulatory Enforcement on Conflicts, Fees, AML and Operational Resiliency in Key Jurisdictions (Part Two of Two)” (May 11, 2021); and “FCA Chief Executive Offers Perspectives on the Importance of Asset Management” (May 17, 2018).

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