Cypriot Investment Firms (CIFs)

A Cyprus Investment Firm (CIF) is licensed and supervised by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) under Law 87(I)/2017, as amended.

The Law 87(I)/2017 provides for the provision of investment services, the exercise of investment activities and the operation of regulated markets and other related matters. L.87(I)/2017 is the national transposition of Directive 2014/65/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on markets in financial instruments (MiFID II).

We offer a complete range of consulting services related to the establishment and operation of Cypriot Investment Firms (CIFs).

Our services include:

• Advising on selecting the proper form of presence in Cyprus
  • Cypriot Investment Firm (CIF)
  • Branch of the Investment Firm (I.F.) of the home company

• Authorisation and establishment of a Cypriot Investment Firm. We prepare a complete application package which includes:
  • Internal Operations Manual
  • Money Laundering Manual
  • Business Plan
  • Completion of relevant Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySec) forms
  • A variety of documentation

• CIF registration after the authorisation

• Selection of qualified staff/directors in accordance with CySEC’s requirements

• After granting of the license we offer:
  • Legal support
  • Accounting support
  • Training courses

Investment Services and Activities and Regulated Markets Law of 2017 (L. 87(I)/2017) as amended

The Law

The L. 87(I)/2017 is the Law which provides for the provision of Investment Services, the exercise of Investment Activities, the operation of Regulated Markets and other related matters.

The L. 87(I)/2017 applies to Cypriot Investment Firms (CIFs) and regulates, among others, the authorisation conditions for CIFs and operating conditions for IFs.

The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (The Commission) having the jurisdiction, according to the law, issued several directives and circulars regarding the requirements for granting permission for operation as Investment Firm in Cyprus.

According to the Law "Cypriot Investment Firm" or "CIF" means the company that is established in the Republic of Cyprus and authorised by the Commission pursuant to the Law (L. 87(I)/2017) to provide one or more investment services to third parties or/and perform one or more investment activities.

“investment services” or “investment activities” or “investment services and activities”

means any of the services and activities, respectively, listed in below Table 1 (Investment services and activities & Ancillary services) and which relate to any of the financial instruments listed in in below Table 2 (Financial instruments)

Table 1: Investment services and activities & Ancillary services

Table 2: Financial instruments

Scope of CIF authorisation

The CIF authorisation specifies the investment services or investment activities which the CIF is authorised to provide or perform. The CIF authorisation may cover one or more of the ancillary services described above. CIF authorisation shall in no case be granted solely for the provision of ancillary services.

The CIF authorisation is valid for the entire European Union and allows a CIF to provide the services or perform the activities for which it has been authorised, throughout the European Union, either through the right of establishment, including through a branch, or through the freedom to provide services.

Obtaining a CIF authorisation

The Commission shall not grant a CIF authorisation unless and until such time as it is fully satisfied that the company that has been established in the Republic of Cyprus and is applying for a CIF authorisation, complies with all the requirements provided for in the Law, the directives issued pursuant to the Law and the acts issued pursuant to Directive 2014/65/EU.

The main information requested by the Commission to enable the Commission to satisfy itself that the applicant has established, at the time of granting of CIF authorisation, all the necessary arrangements to meet its obligations under the Law are the following:

    • General information on the applicant firm
    • Services, activities and financial instruments for which authorisation is requested
    • Information on the capital
    • Information on the shareholders
    • Information on the management body and persons who direct the business
    • Financial information
    • Information on the organisation of the firm
    • Program of initial operations for the following three years
    • Organisational structure and internal control systems of the firm
    • Measures to identify and to prevent or manage conflicts of interest
    • Description of product governance arrangements
    • Description of systems for monitoring the activities of the firm
    • Information on the compliance, internal control, and, risk management systems
    • Details on the systems for assessing and managing the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing
    • Money laundering and terrorist financing risk management and procedures manual
    • Business continuity plans
    • Internal operations Manual
    • Business Plan

Licensing Timeframe

The Commission should inform the applicant, within six months of the submission of a complete application, whether or not authorisation has been granted.

Fast Track: About 2 months – Fees EUR 25.000

Regulatory Capital Requirements

The minimum regulatory capital requirements depend on the investment and ancillary services offered as well as whether or not the Firm holds client funds and is indicated in the below table.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors (BOD) is appointed in accordance with Cyprus law, and is empowered to set the firm’s strategy, objectives and overall direction, and oversees and monitors management decision-making and include persons who effectively direct the business of the firm.

The Board of Directors defines, oversees and is responsible for the implementation of the governance arrangements that ensure effective and prudent management of a CIF, including the segregation of duties in the CIF and the prevention of conflicts of interest, and in a manner that promotes the integrity of the market and the interest of clients.

Members of the Board of Directors of a CIF shall at all times be of good repute and possess sufficient knowledge, skills and experience to perform their duties. The overall composition of the board of directors must reflect an adequately broad range of experiences.

All members of the Board of Directors shall commit sufficient time to perform their duties in the CIF.

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