If a company raises and manages third party investors’ funds in a collective investment scheme, or invest them in a segregated accounts into capital markets products, such as equities, fixed income and financial derivatives, it is conducting fund management and would need to be licensed or registered to do so.
On the other hand, if a company is managing proprietary monies, or monies belonging to a single party or group of related entities, it is likely to be able to be exempt from licensing or registration.
Depending on the size of the company’s expected assets under management and target clientele, it can operate as a:
Carries on business in fund management with all types of investors, including retail investors.
Carries on business in fund management with accredited and institutional investors only.
Manages venture capital funds only. Such funds have to meet certain fund eligibility criteria such as being mainly invested in start-ups.
It should be clear to you from above that LFMC (AI) is very similar to RFMC license where the assets under management can exceed beyond 250 Million SGD, and there is no limit on the number of accredited investors the fund can engage with. (For RFMC the limit is 30 Accredited investors and AUM below 250 Million Dollars).
If your entity falls in this category, then this is the license relevant for you. Generally what we have seen is clients will often go for RFMC first and then for LFMC when funds under management increase.
Accredited Investors are assumed to be better informed, better able to access resources to protect their own interests, and therefore, would require less regulatory protection. Investors who agree to be treated as Accredited Investors therefore forgo the benefit of certain regulatory safeguards. When the bank deals with Accredited Investors, banks are exempt from complying with certain regulatory requirements of the Financial Advisers Act (FAA), the Securities and Futures Act (SFA) and related regulations that are meant to provide regulatory safeguards to retail customers.
For individuals to qualify to become Accredited Investors, they have to meet at least 1 of the following 3 criteria:
If this criterion is satisfied, then such a person can be considered as an Accredited Investor.
Every LFMC (AI) is required to have a minimum base capital of 250,000 SGD. Please note minimum base capital does not refer to the share capital of the legal entity. This is the amount you should always have in your accounts as a solvent company. So generally, it is recommended to have enough buffer in the capital. LFMC is always required to assess the capital buffer and take necessary steps to bring it in line with a legal requirement.
LFMC is subject to Risk-based Capital maintenance requirements. Every LFMC (Whether A/ I or retail) is required to maintain risk based capital of 120% of its calculated risk.
LFMC should be Singapore incorporated company and have a permanent physical office in Singapore. The office should be dedicated, secure and accessible only to the FMC’s directors and staff. A unit is serviced office is acceptable however, co-working spaces do not qualify as an office for FMC as it is not considered dedicated and accessible only to the staff. If located in a serviced office, then your office must be an independent unit accessible to your staff only. Similarly, you are also required to take proper care and caution for safeguarding your IT equipment which may be located outside your premises but in the data center.
An LFMC (AI) shall comply with the requirements on antimoney laundering and countering the financing of terrorism [“AML/CFT”] requirements, as set out in the Notice to Capital Markets Service Licensees and Exempt Persons on Prevention of Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism [SFA04-N02].
All LFMCs shall comply with the misconduct reporting requirements set out in the Notice on Reporting of Misconduct of Representatives by Holders of CMS Licence and Exempt Financial institutions [SFA04-N11].
A/I LFMC are not mandated to have their own independent compliance department if the AUM is less than 1 Billion Dollars. An LFMC (with assets under management lower than 1 billion dollars) can outsource its compliance function. However, it should ensure that it has adequate compliance arrangements commensurate with the scale, nature and complexity of its operations. This may take the form of an independent compliance function, compliance support from overseas affiliates and/or use of external service providers that meet the requirements set out previously.
LFMC are subject to an annual audit and also internal audit.
An LFMC (A/I) shall put in place a risk management framework to identify, address and monitor the risks associated with customer assets that it manages, as required by regulation 13B(1)(a) of the SF(LCB)R. The LFMC should take into account the principles set out in the MAS Guidelines on Risk Management Practices that are applicable to all financial institutions and any other industry best practices that might be relevant. An LFMC should also be cognizant that these risks are dependent on the nature and size of its operations and the nature of assets that it manages.
It is not mandatory for LFMC (AI) to have any PII though MAS encourages to take one. So you need to consider your specific situation and decide accordingly. For LFMC (Retail) the PII is necessary.
4000 SGD at the time of registration.
An LFMC is required to appoint an adequate number of directors, relevant professionals and representatives as set out in the table below. It must also appoint a Chief Executive Officer [“CEO”]. There is no restriction on the CEO to take on multiple appointments within the firm if there are synergies, e.g. the CEO can also be appointed as Executive Director, relevant professional and representative. The individual would then need to meet the requirements in respect of each appointment.
|Number of Directors||Min 2|
|Full time Director||At least 1 out of 2 Directors|
|Number of relevant professionals residing in Singapore: Relevant professionals are employed full-time in the day-to-day operations of the company. They may include the executive directors, CEO and representatives of the FMC.||Min 2|
|Number of representatives residing in Singapore: For an LFMC license, the representatives must have relevant work experience for 5 years.||Min 2 (5 years relevant work experience)|
The expected processing time is 4 months to review and process an application if the business model is straightforward, the applicant meets the relevant admission criteria fully, and the application is complete and clear. For more complex cases, or cases where information is assessed to be incomplete or inaccurate, MAS will need a longer time to review the application.
It is therefore important that you use a professional firm like ours to process your application with MAS. Please ensure that your company’s application is complete, correct and accompanied by the requisite supporting documents.
Every LFMC (A/I), within 5 months after the accounting year is required to file;
Every LFMC is also required to file with MAS, following two on a quarterly basis.
From the above it should be clear to you that applying for LFMC license is not an easy task. Often times MAS requires additional clarifications and if the documents provided are not clear then the process can get delayed resulting in a significant loss of time.
When you engage us we bring our expertise in this sector and ensure your application is submitted correctly with all relevant details. Moreover, we provide all below services. So when you engage us you don’t have to worry about other services related to Compliance and AML / CFT.
Our packages are comprehensive. The price covers everything required.
Our service team has many years of experience. we will guide and assist you throughout your engagement.
We take pride in the quality of services we provide. Check our testimonial section to see what our clients speak about us.
We are very straightforward with our approach. If something in your plan is not likely to work out we will be frank to tell you so.