International Financial Regulations

  • Holland & Knight has extensive experience helping financial services institutions navigate the benefits and risks of global operations. 
  • We analyze international regulatory developments in order to assist clients with understanding local restrictions and requirements by working with counsel in more than 100 jurisdictions across the globe. 
  • Our International Financial Regulations Team ensures clients understand the importance of local authorizations, tax regulations, labor and employment laws, securities and insurance licensing, privacy and data protection requirements, and other local regulations.
International Currency Symbols


Holland & Knight guides financial services institutions through the legal intricacies of global operations. Our attorneys understand the benefits as well as the risks associated with international financial regulations. We assist clients that wish to expand their market shares by helping with structuring their international operations in a way that minimizes risks and maximizes efficiencies.

Our comprehensive legal assistance includes counseling clients on:

  • compliance with local rules on offering financial products and services, and development of global policies and procedures
  • licensing requirements and exemptions
  • relationship structures that optimize cross-border operations
  • establishment of local operations outside of the U.S.
  • concurrent compliance with U.S. and local laws
  • international insurance operations
  • anti-money laundering

Our attorneys advise brokerage firms, investment advisers, wealth managers and other financial institutions on the challenges of international operations and initiatives. We analyze regulatory developments shaping the global landscape in order to assist our clients with understanding local restrictions and requirements. We help to ensure that our clients understand local authorizations, tax regulations, labor and employment laws, securities and insurance licensing, privacy and data protection requirements, and other local regulations are critical factors in determining organizational structures and policies.

Our lawyers work with attorneys from a broad network of local counsel in more than 100 jurisdictions across the globe. Local counsel are selected for their substantive backgrounds in such areas as brokerage services regulation, asset management, retirement services, banking, tax and insurance law. We often work with multiple law firms in each country in order to obtain distinct views that help our clients navigate the challenges associated with the local legal and business environment.

Marketing and Offering Financial Products and Services

We develop country-by-country and global policies and procedures for cross-border marketing as well as marketing within each country. We guide clients on use of foreign language materials, website content, in-country road shows, tax considerations, global and country specific representations, disclosures and disclaimers, use of in-country solicitors, participation by local affiliates and marketing targeted at institutional investors.

Registration, Licensing and Exemptions

We help our clients understand when and why local registrations and authorizations are necessary and help them determine the organizational structures and policies that best meet their needs. We help obtain applicable authorizations, licensing and exemptive relief, or determine methods of operation so that local authorizations are not required. Examples include obtaining exemptive relief from local regulators for the provision of financial services exclusively to institutional investors and providing advice on offering unregistered funds on a private placement basis.

Establishment of Local Operations

We work with local counsel around the world to determine the best structure for each client's operations in each jurisdiction. In addition to helping clients navigate the U.S. and local financial services regulatory requirements applicable to the establishment of local operations, we help clients understand local tax, labor and employment, general corporate, data protection and privacy, anti-money laundering and other issues that may impact their local operations. We assist our clients with establishing local offices, including representative offices, branches and subsidiaries.

Concurrent Compliance with U.S. and Local Regulations

We work closely with our clients to help them develop products and practices that comply with both U.S. and foreign regulations. Examples include revisions to common industry agreements and guidance on the use of locally enforceable agreements, including guarantees, pledges and notes. We also address U.S. and local tax implications, U.S. licensing and registration requirements for foreign-based personnel, the impact of local consumer lending laws, the differences in privacy and confidentiality rules among jurisdictions, U.S. document delivery requirements in the context of foreign laws and foreign residents' needs.

Anti-Money Laundering

Our Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering/Office of Foreign Asset Control Practice Team is a multidisciplinary group that includes bilingual and bi-cultural lawyers who were formerly with the U.S. Department of Justice and other agencies. We provide clients with a comprehensive approach to address the legal requirements, issues and problems confronted by domestic and foreign financial institutions in today's challenging compliance environment. We assist our clients with navigating domestic and foreign anti-money laundering and anti-corruption regulations.

Foreign Resident Financial Services

Our International Financial Regulations Team advises clients on products and services that are frequently provided to foreign residents, which are often subject to local restrictions. Examples include:

Brokers and Dealers

  • Clearing and sub-clearing arrangements
  • Margin financing
  • International payments, including check and debit card services
  • Investment fund platforms
  • Private and registered investment funds
  • Research reports
  • Structured products, options and derivatives
  • Online brokerage services
  • Compensation of finders
  • Securities exchange listing

Investment Advisers

  • Managed accounts
  • Nondiscretionary advisory services
  • Fund formation, registration and distribution
  • Investor reporting thresholds
  • Compensation of local solicitors

Retail Banks

  • Lending
  • Trust services
  • Deposit taking
  • Check and debit card services

Institutional and Correspondent Banking Services

  • Asset-backed finance
  • Credit products
  • Foreign exchange
  • Interest rate risk management
  • Payment services
  • Principal investing
  • Trade services
  • Debt capital markets
  • Real estate
  • Equipment finance
  • Factoring
  • Futures and derivatives execution and clearing

U.S. Retirement Plans

  • Securities law and treatment
  • Investment products included in plans
  • Brokerage services
  • Transition management
  • Advisory services
  • Enrollment kits, prospectus delivery and default enrollment
  • Record keeping and administration services
  • Application of ERISA plan asset and fiduciary rules


  • Sale of traditional insurance products
  • Sale of annuities
  • Authorization of insurance carriers and agents


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