Authorisation As A MiFID Investment Firm In Ireland

William Fry


William Fry is a leading full-service Irish law firm with over 310 legal and tax professionals and 460 staff. The firm's client-focused service combines technical excellence with commercial awareness and a practical, constructive approach to business issues. The firm advices leading domestic and international corporations, financial institutions and government organisations. It regularly acts on complex, multi-jurisdictional transactions and commercial disputes.
MiFID investment firms are regulated financial service providers authorised to provide investment services in relation to financial instruments.
Ireland Finance and Banking
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  • MiFID investment firms are regulated financial service providers authorised to provide investment services in relation to financial instruments.
  • An application for authorisation as a MiFID investment firm is submitted to the Central Bank of Ireland (Central Bank) under the European Union (Markets in Financial Instruments) Regulations 2017 which transposed the MiFID II Directive into Irish law.
  • There is a separate, simpler application form and process for data reporting service providers.


Stage Timeline
Preliminary meeting pre-application presentation

 The applicant firm should request a preliminary meeting with the Central Bank to discuss its proposed application. Applicant firms must submit to the Central Bank a presentation (in slide-deck format) at least 15 working days in advance of the preliminary meeting. The presentation (not exceeding 30 slides) should contain an overview of the applicant firm's proposals, including ownership structure, business model, regulatory permissions sought, key products/ services, target client type, governance, risk management and resourcing arrangements and background/context on the wider group (where applicable). The presentation should demonstrate how the applicant firm's business will operate in the first three years postauthorisation. The applicant firm is required to provide a list of attendees, which should include key persons/principals of the firms.

Legal advisors may attend the preliminary meeting. The Central Bank expects applicant firms to seek the professional advice of subject matter experts, where appropriate, prior to putting forward queries in the preliminary meeting

Preliminary meeting A preliminary meeting will be held with all applicant firms in advance of a formal application being made to the Central Bank. The purpose of the preliminary meeting is (i) for the applicant firm to provide the Central Bank with a high-level overview of its proposals and (ii) for the Central Bank to outline its authorisation expectations and provide an indicative timeline for the authorisation process.
Key Facts Document (KFD)

After the preliminary meeting, the applicant firm will be invited to submit a KFD containing further details of the applicant firm's proposed business and operational model and associated risks, including details on the firm's background, ownership, number and type of clients, capital projections, governance and staff resourcing arrangements and outsourcing arrangements.

The KFD is submitted to the Central Bank following a required structure and format. The information included in the KFD will be more granular in nature than the level of information submitted in the preliminary meeting pre-application presentation. The contents of the KFD should include (i) introduction and the purpose, scope and rationale for the application; (ii) brief background of the applicant firm and the reason(s) why the applicant firm has selected Ireland as a location from which to carry out investment services and apply for MiFID II authorisation; (iii) business model; (iv) client assets; (v) target clients (vi) governance and staff resourcing arrangements (vii) high-level capital projections for the first three years of operation post-authorisation; (viii) requests for permission, derogation or use of a waiver under relevant legislation (ix) application submission timeline.

Central Bank issues written comments on KFD The Central Bank will revert to the applicant firm in writing with any comments on the KFD. Once the KFD has been updated to address the Central Bank's comments, the applicant firm will be invited to submit a formal application. Where an applicant firm's proposed business model is of sufficient nature, scale and complexity, the Central Bank may request submission of a "draft formal application" before moving to the formal application stage.

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The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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