Financial Services & Markets

Cygnus Law has extensive experience assisting a wide range of financial service providers and issuers of financial products to understand & comply with regulatory requirements and to meet commercial objectives. Clients include financial advice providers (and financial advisers), managers of managed funds, non-bank deposit takers, payment service providers, brokers, 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 also 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 Advice Providers

Cygnus Law advises financial advice providers and financial advisers on their regulatory obligations and commercial agreements. That includes preparing and updating commercial agreements that support their business, preparing disclosure documents and assisting to obtain and maintain licences.

Payment, FX and Cryptocurrency Service Providers

Cygnus Law advises a range of businesses in the payments, FX and cryptocurrency sectors on regulatory and commercial matters. We advise on whether, and to what extent, New Zealand law applies to products and services provided online and from outside New Zealand including in relation to exchanges and markets. We assist with preparing, reviewing and updating client and partner agreements.

Fund Managers, Non-Bank Deposit Takers and Derivatives Issuers

Cygnus Law advises a range of business that issue and manage investments including fund managers, DIMS providers, non-bank deposit takers and derivatives issuers. We advise on regulatory matters including (where relevant) obligations in relation to product governance, product disclosure statements (PDS), client money (custodian obligations), fair dealing, financial reporting and AML/CFT. We assist with registering on the FSPR, identifying relevant investor exemption categories, preparing and updating relevant agreements and documents including investor agreements, disclosure documents and application forms.

FinTech Businesses

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

Financial Service Licences

Cygnus Law advises a range of businesses on financial service licensing under the Financial Markets Conduct Act. We can assist your business to obtain & maintain licences. That includes providing advice on regulatory obligations, support to implement practical & effective operational processes & controls, and to respond to regulators. 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 assists financial service providers to comply with obligations with respect to the FSPR. That includes advising on when registration on the FSPR is required and helping to meet registration requirements including the significant new requirements introduced in 2021.

Anti-Money Laundering Compliance

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 (CDD) obligations including enhanced customer due diligence
  • 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
  • Advising on and assisting with exemption applications