Regulatory Hosting / FCA Umbrella


What is regulatory hosting and how can it help new asset managers to launch under UK regulations?


Key Features and Benefits

A regulatory hosting platform enables investment advisers and managers to carry out regulated activities without being directly FCA approved. The client will instead become an appointed representative (AR) of the host firm and can then carry out regulated activities using the FCA permissions of the platform provider. The appointed representative is the firm who will conduct the regulated activities under the regulatory umbrella of the host.

Structural setup:

A firm wishing to provide distribution and advisory services in the UK typically would need to be authorised by the FCA. The application process generally takes between 6 to 12 months and can be costly. In addition, the firm would need to meet a range of compliance regulations such as having to put up regulatory capital, having a detailed business regulatory plan, having sufficient investment staff, appointing a compliance officer, a money laundering officer and setting up its own offices. Instead firms can use the principal’s infrastructure to bypass these investments, at least for the short term.

The host platform will ultimately be responsible for issues of compliance and regulation, therefore the appointed representative can only operate within the permissions and scope of the principal. If an appointed representative wishes to conduct activities beyond the remit of the principal they will have to obtain their own FCA approval first.

The usual services provided by a regulatory hosting firm are:

  • Investment management services
  • AIFM hosting services
  • Outsourced compliance
  • Marketing and distribution services
  • Advisory services

In most cases appointed representatives use such a platform whilst they are still in the process of becoming fully authorised in their own right as the FCA process can be lengthy, however changes in regulatory guidelines have made hosting solutions more appealing as fund managers can outsource their compliance issues for longer periods of time.

Regulatory hosting platforms also offer infrastructure to host asset managers, hedge funds or private equity funds. This set-up is usually used for spin-outs or new launches where time is of the essence. Ultimately the experts of a regulatory hosting platform act as launch managers for the client. Often resources with different skill sets and expertise are needed and a new launch will normally require input from operations, legal, compliance and administrations.

Contact us

For more information contact
Andrew Frost
E: afrost@lawsonconner.com
D: +44 (0) 203 696 2568
Joe Woodbury
E: jwoodbury@lawsonconner.com
D: +44 (0) 203 696 2560

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Key Features and Benefits


Contact us

For more information contact
Andrew Frost
E: afrost@lawsonconner.com
D: +44 (0) 203 696 2568
Joe Woodbury
E: jwoodbury@lawsonconner.com
D: +44 (0) 203 696 2560

Download PDF Information
Download PDF Information


A regulatory hosting platform enables investment advisers and managers to carry out regulated activities without being directly FCA approved. The client will instead become an appointed representative (AR) of the host firm and can then carry out regulated activities using the FCA permissions of the platform provider. The appointed representative is the firm who will conduct the regulated activities under the regulatory umbrella of the host.

Structural setup:

A firm wishing to provide distribution and advisory services in the UK typically would need to be authorised by the FCA. The application process generally takes between 6 to 12 months and can be costly. In addition, the firm would need to meet a range of compliance regulations such as having to put up regulatory capital, having a detailed business regulatory plan, having sufficient investment staff, appointing a compliance officer, a money laundering officer and setting up its own offices. Instead firms can use the principal’s infrastructure to bypass these investments, at least for the short term.

The host platform will ultimately be responsible for issues of compliance and regulation, therefore the appointed representative can only operate within the permissions and scope of the principal. If an appointed representative wishes to conduct activities beyond the remit of the principal they will have to obtain their own FCA approval first.

The usual services provided by a regulatory hosting firm are:

  • Investment management services
  • AIFM hosting services
  • Outsourced compliance
  • Marketing and distribution services
  • Advisory services

In most cases appointed representatives use such a platform whilst they are still in the process of becoming fully authorised in their own right as the FCA process can be lengthy, however changes in regulatory guidelines have made hosting solutions more appealing as fund managers can outsource their compliance issues for longer periods of time.

Regulatory hosting platforms also offer infrastructure to host asset managers, hedge funds or private equity funds. This set-up is usually used for spin-outs or new launches where time is of the essence. Ultimately the experts of a regulatory hosting platform act as launch managers for the client. Often resources with different skill sets and expertise are needed and a new launch will normally require input from operations, legal, compliance and administrations.