News / 1 Sep 2020

Challenging Times Require Strong Expertise – Borenius Strengthens its Financial Regulatory Team

The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has created new challenges for companies all over the world this year. Adjusting to the new normal has required significant changes in all aspects of life, including business. The digitalised finance sector, however, may prove to be more resilient than others as consumption and many businesses have rapidly moved online.

Complex times require strong expertise. We have recently strengthened our Financial Institutions and Regulation team (FIR) with Senior Associate Eeva Terho and Associate Joona Riski. Joona is one of our younger talents whose career path began as a Borenius trainee, whereas Eeva has 10 years of experience in complex financial regulatory issues and transactions.

Domestic and international experience

Eeva advises our clients on financial services regulation, FinTech and fund management matters. Before joining Borenius, Eeva worked as a manager at PwC where she focused on issues related to the provision of investment services and activities, licensing/registration processes and requirements with the supervisory authority, investment funds and anti-money laundering. Eeva has also advised on questions related to newer financial service providers, e.g. virtual currency providers. Eeva was seconded to PwC Hong Kong in 2016–2018 where she managed complex and large regulatory projects for e.g. top global banks and brokerage firms, such as UBS and Standard Chartered. Before that, Eeva worked as a legal counsel and compliance officer at a Finnish investment group and as an associate at an international law firm specialising e.g. in M&A, banking and finance as well as questions related to investment products and services.

“I’m excited to be able to bring the international experience I gained in Hong Kong while working closely with top global banks and brokerage firms to this highly experienced team in order to serve Borenius’ clients even more effectively,” says Eeva.

In addition to our new talents, Senior Associate Janni Hiltunen continues to divide her time between our FIR and Capital Markets practices. Janni advises clients on questions related to financial services regulation, including investment, banking, payment, and insurance services, and fund management, as well as on equity and debt capital markets transactions and securities markets regulation. Before joining Borenius in 2015, she worked as an associate at another Finnish law firm and at the Ministry of Finance focusing on issues related to AIFMs, investment funds and banking regulation. Janni began her career in financial regulation by working at OP Corporate Bank plc in a compliance role. Janni was seconded to Goldman Sachs’ investment banking legal department in London from Borenius in 2018, and she has also worked as a visiting lawyer at the Capital Markets Financing team of OP Corporate Bank plc.

Working in a cross-practice role gives unique insight into our clients’ business. I have had the chance to assist our clients on getting established and licensed in addition to helping them resolve regulatory issues they may run into in their day to day business and advising them on corporate and capital markets transactions,” says Janni.

Senior Associate Janni Hiltunen, Counsel Ari Syrjäläinen and Senior Associate Eeva Terho.

 

The team continues to be co-headed by Capital Markets Partner Juha Koponen and Counsel Ari Syrjäläinen. Juha and Ari have over 40 years of experience, combined, in various capital markets and financing transactions and in complex financial regulatory matters related to banking, securities markets and publicly listed companies.

In addition to our dedicated FIR experts, Borenius’ full range of services are at our clients’ disposal. The full range of Borenius’ industry expertise and knowledge from various fields of law and our experts from all relevant practices are always available to assist each individual client. In FinTech related matters, we work closely with our colleagues in our Technology, Media & Telecommunications practice headed by partner Samuli Simojoki. The FIR team can tap into resources provided especially by our Banking & Finance, Capital Markets, and Fund Formation & Investment Management practices. Our other colleagues, such as the experts in our Tax, Intellectual Property, and Corporate Advisory and Compliance practices are also available to assist as necessary.

Our team finds the solution

 We offer our clients support and advice every step of the way – from setting up their business to operating it successfully. We also assist our clients on any financing, corporate and M&A transactions throughout the lifespan of their businesses. The variety of expertise held by the professionals retained by our FIR team allows us to serve both established financial markets service providers as well as new operators with innovative new service and product offerings.

The regulatory landscape is becoming more complex, and innovative technologies are rapidly transforming the way in which the financial sector operates. FinTech solutions, such as the use of AI, automation and big data, have been relevant to large, established banking groups for a long time and not simply to upcoming market disruptors.

It is key not to only recognise the applicable financial regulatory requirements, such as registration and/or licensing obligations, that new innovations may face but to also be aware of the overlap between e.g. data protection and privacy regimes when providing financial solutions and products. The increasing amount of detail involved in regulation and the regulatory focus on curtailing risks to the financial sector at large require for operators to keep a close eye on upcoming legislative actions.

The financial services industry is also affected by trends in the society at large. Investors pay increasing attention to ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) criteria when making investment decisions, and sustainable finance is a trend that also encompasses the business strategies and business operations of companies in the field more widely. Regulators are typically quick to follow such trends, and we recommend that companies keep an eye out for the Sustainable Finance Disclosure regime that is under preparation at the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs).

Our team is ready to assist your business in navigating the ever-evolving regulatory landscape. Please do not hesitate to contact us for up-to-date insight and advice.

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