Our UK compliance team, whilst naturally containing FCA specialists, is unique in also having SEC, CFTC and FINRA expertise. Our UK team provides ongoing compliance support to a wide variety of clients including hedge funds, private equity firms, brokers and investment banks. Our approach is very much designed to meet the specific needs of each client. We listen and develop a service that works best for you.

Our ongoing compliance support ranges from effectively outsourcing the compliance function to Optima, to us simply providing ad hoc advice as needed, as well as all levels in between. Typically our ongoing support includes some of the below products and many of our clients mix and match the products that work best for them.

Periodic compliance reviews

For many of our clients, we undertake periodic compliance monitoring reviews. These reviews are normally undertaken on a quarterly or semi-annual basis.

Our reviews follow a risk-based compliance monitoring program; that is constantly updated in accordance with what we are seeing from the relevant regulator and market practice, and includes a report setting out our findings and practical recommendations. The reviews serve as an important tool in ensuring that firms are following their compliance monitoring programs and have an appropriate audit trail.

Although we have a proven methodology, we also can tailor the scope and nature of the reviews to fit any specific needs of the client. We also appreciate that a client’s needs may vary and we build this functionality into all of our engagements.

Annual reviews

The SEC, CFTC and FINRA require that firms undertake an annual review and assessment of their compliance policies and procedures. The output of this is something the regulators will expect to see when they undertake an exam. Optima is able to undertake and manage the end to end process of the annual review for you. Our specialists have undertaken the annual review for many types of clients and we have an excellent understanding of industry best practice and what the regulator will expect to see in terms of scope and output.

Whilst not a strict requirement by the FCA, it does represent best practice and there are still a number of documents which must be reviewed annually. We therefore also undertake this service for many of our client that are only FCA regulated.

Day to day management of the compliance function

Many of our clients have a significant strain on their resources and the person who has been given the title of Compliance Officer does not necessarily have the time to undertake the role on a day to day basis. Therefore we provide a service whereby we do not just give advice and review what the client has done, we proactively manage the compliance function on a day to day basis. Consequently, the client has little or nothing to do in terms of managing and implementing the compliance monitoring program and ensuring that the regulatory reports and filings are completed on a timely basis. This service can also save firms money by negating the need to hire a full time compliance resource.

Ad hoc as needed

If firms do not wish to have a fixed service but wish to just use Optima as and when they need to, we are happy to agree to provide a simple ad hoc service. Commonly this service involves answering ad hoc queries as needed, notifying clients of new regulations as they affect your business, assisting with correspondence with the regulators and help with regulatory reporting.

Additionally, in most of our ongoing retainer agreements we build in an element of ad hoc service.