Financial Service Providers

Cygnus Law assists a wide range of financial service providers to understand their regulatory obligations and to meet (& to integrate) their regulatory and commercial objectives. Clients include financial advice firms (and financial advisers), managers of managed funds, payment service providers, custodians, derivatives issuers, DIMS providers and FinTech businesses.

Cygnus Law advises on, and assists with compliance, regulator engagement, licensing, registration, governance, AML/CFT, commercial agreements and capital raising.

Cygnus Law advises businesses outside New Zealand on the nature and extent of any obligations they may have under New Zealand law and provides practical advice on compliance. Key services include the following:

Financial Service Licences

Cygnus Law advises a range of businesses on financial service licensing. We can assist your business to obtain & maintain licences. That includes providing advice on regulatory obligations and support to implement practical & effective operational processes & controls. Relevant licences include:

>    Managers of managed investment schemes
>    Discretionary investment management service (DIMS) providers
>    Derivatives issuers
>    Equity crowdfunding and P2P lending platforms
>    Financial advice providers

Cygnus Law’s director Simon Papa was part of the team at NZ’s Financial Markets Authority that developed the licensing regime for a range of financial service providers. Simon contributes to ensuring that you meet licence standards and that your licence application is focused & complete.

Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR)

Cygnus Law has extensive experience assisting with obtaining and maintaining registration on the FSPR. That includes advising on when registration is required, assisting with on-going compliance, and assisting to respond to regulator inquiries.  Cygnus Law can help you to understand and navigate the extensive changes to the FSPR that came into force in March 2021.

Financial Advice Sector

Cygnus Law has wide experience advising financial advice firms and financial advisers on their regulatory obligations and commercial agreements. Cygnus Law supports firms and advisers to transition to the new regulatory regime that came into force in March 2021.  That includes assisting with licensing, and preparing and updating commercial agreements that support your business.

Anti-Money Laundering

Cygnus Law advises businesses on implementing and complying with anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) obligations. That includes:

>    Identifying whether your business is subject to AML/CFT obligations (including whether any exemptions apply)
>    Preparing, reviewing & updating risk assessments & AML/CFT programmes
Advising on customer due diligence obligations including enhanced customer due diligence (ECDD)
>    Advising on requirements for “politically exposed person” (PEP) checks
>    Advising on suspicious activity reporting obligations and processes
>    Advising on wire transfer & prescribed transaction reporting obligations and processes
>    Assisting to respond to regulator enquiries


Cygnus Law advises a range of FinTech businesses, including those providing crowdfunding services, payment services and roboadvice. CygnusLaw can help your FinTech business to find innovative ways to navigate regulatory requirements and to raise capital. CygnusLaw is a member of FinTechNZ, which brings together key participants in the FinTech sector to support FinTech development in New Zealand.


Advice on the obligations of custodians, including in relation to conduct, client reporting and assurance engagements. Cygnus Law can help you to understand the extent to which the custodian obligations apply to your activities.


Cygnus Law advises on the obligations of some NZ businesses to collect and share information about the their foreign tax resident clients, which is shared with off-shore tax authorities (via the IRD).   Obligations to collect information & report with respect to US tax residents (including citizens and some entities & trusts) arise under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and related NZ law.  Similar obligations arise with respect  to foreign tax resident clients of other countries under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) and automatic exchange of information (AEOI) obligations that are included in NZ Law. Cygnus Law can support compliance by helping to identify whether you have obligations in relation to FATCA & CRS, advising on those obligations, and by assisting to develop systems and documents that support compliance.