The Maples Group is uniquely placed to provide legal advice and administrative solutions to clients on all aspects of the Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information ("AEOI") due diligence and reporting regimes such as FATCA and the OECD Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information – Common Reporting Standard ("CRS") with respect to British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands and Irish financial institutions.
The British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and Ireland have entered into inter-governmental agreements with the United States (the "US IGAs") to give effect to the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act ("US FATCA") and a multilateral competent authority agreement (the "MCAA") to implement CRS. The British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands have also entered into inter-governmental agreements with the United Kingdom (the "UK IGAs") in broadly similar terms to the US IGAs to improve international tax compliance ("UK FATCA"). The UK is also a participating jurisdiction under CRS therefore it is expected that UK FATCA will be subsumed by CRS by the end of 2017. AEOI is the collective term used to refer to US FATCA, UK FATCA and CRS.
Each of the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and Ireland has passed laws (the "AEOI Laws") to give effect to their AEOI commitments. Under the AEOI Laws, all "Financial Institutions" will be required to comply with the relevant registration, due diligence and reporting requirements, except to the extent that they can rely on an exemption that allows them to become a "Non-Reporting Financial Institution" with respect to one or more of the AEOI regimes. The AEOI Laws require each Financial Institution to, amongst other things (i) register with the United States Internal Revenue Service to obtain a Global Intermediary Identification Number (in the context of the US IGA only), (ii) conduct due diligence on its accounts to identify whether any such accounts are considered "Reportable Accounts", and (iii) report information on such Reportable Accounts to the local fiscal authority.
Account holders in such Financial Institutions will be required to provide certain personal financial information, including certifications as to such account holder's global tax residencies and tax identification numbers, to the Financial Institution. The Financial Institution's compliance with the AEOI Laws may result in the disclosure of the account holder's financial information to the local fiscal authority which will transmit such information to the overseas fiscal authority relevant to a reportable account annually on an automatic basis.
The term "Financial Institution" catches entities that are depository institutions, custodial institutions, investment entities and specified insurance companies. Depository institutions and custodial institutions are largely self-explanatory terms, and specified insurance companies will mostly be long-term insurers. Investment entities is a term defined very broadly and catches most types of investment fund, investment managers and advisors, and other entities that might be service providers in fund management world. An entity that is not a Financial Institution will be a non-financial entity and out of scope of the AEOI Laws although if that entity is an account holder of a Financial Institution it may in certain circumstances be required to confirm to such Financial Institution details of its controlling persons. If in doubt, please take appropriate legal advice as to whether an entity is in scope and any related compliance obligations.
The Maples Group provides constructive and insightful advice to a range of clients, including investment managers, collateral managers, fund administrators, trustees and investment banks, offering flexible and cost effective solutions that can be tailored to ensure clients meet the necessary requirements.
We can assist clients on all aspects of AEOI, with services including:
- providing British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands and Irish legal advice or assistance in relation to the potential application of FATCA and CRS, including entity classification, local and foreign tax authority registration and notification requirements, availability of reporting exemptions, self-certification and due diligence requirements.
- drafting or reviewing language for incorporation into offering materials, constitutional and other documents, where relevant.
- drafting or reviewing self-certification forms, sponsored entity agreements and delegation agreements.
- drafting or reviewing policies and procedures.
- registering a client with the IRS and obtaining a Global Intermediary Identification Number ("GIIN"), and/or registration, notification and liaison with local authorities, as applicable.
- classification, validation and remediation of pre-existing accounts.
- onboarding new accounts to ensure required data is captured, and obtaining forms and due diligence documentation for validation up front to facilitate compliance.
- preparation and filing of reports that are compliant with applicable legal requirements.
- sponsoring entity services - taking responsibility for FATCA compliance on behalf of the client, including performing all initial and ongoing due diligence to identify any reportable accounts, GIIN registration and reporting where applicable.
Michelle has oversight of the Maples Group’s regulatory services business with specific responsibility for the management of standalone Automatic Exchange of Information (“AEOI,” also known as FATCA and CRS), country-by-country reporting (“CbCR”) and Depository Lite services for clients. This includes coordinating the registration, due diligence and reporting of account holders under FATCA and CRS, notification and reporting as required under CbCR, and cash monitoring, safe-keeping and oversight under the AIFMD rules. Michelle brings more than ten years of experience in the hedge fund industry and is a recognised industry expert on AEOI, as well as CbCR, and has participated in numerous industry seminars on the practical implications of these regulatory regimes. Michelle’s experience as a qualified lawyer and Chartered Accountant gives her a unique perspective into evolving laws and regulations, and she leverages this insight to help clients meet their compliance requirements.
David is a highly experienced tax specialist and advises on international transactions structured in, and through, Ireland. He works with companies, banks and investment funds and their advisors to structure and implement capital markets, structured finance, asset finance and funds transactions.
Christopher advises on all aspects of offshore investment funds, as well as general corporate restructurings. He specialises in hedge fund and private equity transactions and works regularly with a number of the world's leading financial institutions, fund managers and law firms. He has extensive experience advising on all forms of investment fund vehicles including partnerships, unit trusts and companies (including LLCs and LDCs). Christopher also has in-depth knowledge of FATCA and the OECD Common Reporting Standard.
Lynn is a member of the Maples Group's Tax team and advises on corporate, investment funds and financial services tax matters. She has particular experience in advising on the tax aspects of corporate transactions, employee remuneration and share schemes.
Tim is a member of the Financial Services Regulation team. He provides all aspects of regulatory and financial services advice, including in respect of Cayman Islands licensing, prudential and conduct of business requirements, reporting and information exchange obligations (including those deriving from FATCA and the Common Reporting Standard), and advice on duties of data protection and confidentiality, anti-money laundering and combating of terrorist finance. Tim is a member of both industry and Cayman Islands Government legal and regulatory working groups
Heidi is a partner in the Maples Group's Funds & Investment Management team and works closely with hedge fund managers, private equity houses and their onshore counsel in the hedge fund and private equity sectors. She advises on both Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands law and specialises in the structuring, formation, ongoing maintenance and restructuring of hedge funds and private equity funds, representing large financial institutions as well as boutique and start-up managers.
Tim is a partner in Maples Group's Funds & Investment Management team. He has extensive experience in the use of offshore finance vehicles. While most of his practice is focused on funds (principally alternative investment funds, but also structured products, such as CLOs), his work also includes general corporate issues, as well as insurance and other alternative risk transfer work, such as captives, insurance linked securities and fund sponsored reinsurance vehicles. Since its rollout in 2013, Tim has also been a leading member of the global team advising clients on the impact of FATCA and CRS.
Michael is Managing Partner of the Maples Group legal services team in Singapore and Global Head of the British Virgin Islands legal services team. His experience and areas of practice cover corporate (public and private work), downstream private equity work, banking and structured finance.
Patrick is a partner in Maples Group's Funds & Investment Management team. He specialises in investment funds and has worked extensively with well-known sponsors of private equity and hedge funds, as well as start-up managers and their onshore counsel, advising on all aspects of the establishment, regulation and operation of investment funds. He has extensive experience in fund financing, the restructuring of investment fund platforms, mergers and listings on worldwide exchanges. Patrick is also one of the lead partners on the global team advising on the implementation and impact of FATCA and CRS, focusing specifically on the investment funds sector.
Martin oversees the Maples Group's Regulatory & Financial Services team and is an industry-recognised specialist in all aspects of regulatory, licensing, risk management, information disclosure and anti-money laundering matters. He regularly assists clients in their relationship with the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, Tax Information Authority and other government agencies. Martin also advises on a range of regulatory aspects, including licence applications and cross border conduct of business advice, financial services terms and conditions, mandatory reporting and information exchange (including FATCA, the Common Reporting Standard and other tax or regulatory information exchange mechanisms), duties of confidentiality, sanctions, anti-corruption and bribery, as well as anti-money laundering and combating of terrorist financing advice.
Scott has extensive experience in CLOs and other structured finance transactions, including repack programmes, structured funds and fund derivative products. He also advises on fund financing, and is head of the CSX listing group in Cayman. Scott is a lead partner of the FATCA/CRS team, with a specific focus on the structured finance sector.
Richard is Managing Partner of the Maples Group's British Virgin Islands office where he is also head of the Corporate and Finance teams. He advises on a variety of corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, stock exchange listings and corporate reorganisations. Richard also advises investment managers and private equity houses on the structuring, formation and financing of investment funds and private equity funds.
James is a member of the Maples Group's Corporate team where his areas of practice include the formation of hedge funds and private equity funds, as well as general corporate transactions. He also advises on FATCA and the OECD Common Reporting Standard.
Karen has overall responsibility for the business operations of the Maples Group’s fund services business in the Americas. She has over 20 years of financial services experience, the majority of which has been in hedge fund and private equity fund administration. She has served as a director on several hedge fund boards and has extensive regulatory expertise.