Clifford Chance has launched the first tool from its devolved Applied Solutions digital product business: SMCR Manager is an interactive tool supporting the Senior Managers and Certification Regime for firms regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The new regime will replace the Approved Persons Regime in December 2019 for FCA solo regulated firms including brokers, financial advisers, private equity firms, fund managers and investment managers.
Chinwe Odimba-Chapman (pictured right), a partner in Clifford Chance’s Employment group explains: “The aim of the SMCR is to reduce harm to consumers and strengthen market integrity by making firms and individuals at those firms more accountable for their conduct and competence. It represents a fundamental shift in the UK’s financial services sector, enhancing and extending obligations for financial services businesses to adhere to the minimum standards of behaviour. From December, individuals in regulated firms will be subject to increased administrative and regulatory requirements and heightened expectations as to how they conduct themselves, and they will need to be prepared.”
SMCR Manager will enable senior managers to check if companies fall within the scope of the SMCR, identify whether they are considered ‘enhanced’ or ‘core’ firms and work through key SMCR requirements with built-in tailored guidance. It can also assign senior manager functions while identifying and maintaining a register of certified persons.
Clifford Chance Applied Solutions is a separate entity, where the firm’s legal expertise is combined with technology to solve complex client challenges and requirements, aiming to improve efficiency and consistency, free up resources and enhance business performance.
Jeroen Pink, CEO of Clifford Chance Applied Solutions said: “Becoming – let alone staying – compliant is a huge challenge. Increased regulation and regional variations make it complex, time consuming and arduous to tackle using traditional, labour-intensive approaches. With SMCR Manager, our legal teams and technology specialists work hand in hand to solve this complex challenge for our clients and I’m thrilled to see the product launch today.”
Clifford Chance Applied Solutions is one of three pillars within the firm’s Innovation and Best Delivery strategy, which aims to make optimal use of the firm’s extensive knowledge capability and smart technology, through the deployment of the right resources and best processes for each matter.
Clifford Chance’s Global Head of Innovation and Business Change, Bas Boris Visser said: “Innovation and Best Delivery is a key component of our strategic goal of delivering an outstanding client service experience. The launch of this first product from Clifford Chance Applied Solutions demonstrates the pace of progress as we blend technology and legal expertise to help clients navigate the ever-changing regulatory landscape.”