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SYSC 4.2 Persons who effectively direct the business


The senior personnel of a common platform firmmust be of sufficiently good repute and sufficiently experienced as to ensure the sound and prudent management of the firm.

[Note: article 9

(1) of MiFID and article 11(1) second paragraph of the Banking Consolidation Directive ]


A common platform firmmust ensure that its management is undertaken by at least two persons meeting the requirements laid down in SYSC 4.2.1 R


[Note: article 9(4) first paragraph of MiFID and article 11(1) first paragraph of the Banking Consolidation Directive]


In the case of a body corporate, the persons referred to in SYSC 4.2.2 R should either be executive directors or persons granted executive powers by, and reporting immediately to, the governing body. In the case of a partnership, they should be active partners.


At least two independent minds should be applied to both the formulation and implementation of the policies of a common platform firm. Where a common platform firm nominates just two individuals to direct its business, the FSA will not regard them as both effectively directing the business where one of them makes some, albeit significant, decisions relating to only a few aspects of the business. Each should play a part in the decision-making process on all significant decisions. Both should demonstrate the qualities and application to influence strategy, day-to-day policy and its implementation. This does not require their day-to-day involvement in the execution and implementation of policy. It does, however, require involvement in strategy and general direction, as well as knowledge of, and influence on, the way in which strategy is being implemented through day-to-day policy.


Where there are more than two individuals directing the business, the FSA does not regard it as necessary for all of these individuals to be involved in all decisions relating to the determination of strategy and general direction. However, at least two individuals should be involved in all such decisions. Both individuals' judgement should be engaged so that major errors leading to difficulties for the firm are less likely to occur. Similarly, each individual should have sufficient experience and knowledge of the business and the necessary personal qualities and skills to detect and resist any imprudence, dishonesty or other irregularities by the other individual. Where a single individual, whether a chief executive, managing director or otherwise, is particularly dominant in a firm this will raise doubts about whether SYSC 4.2.2 R is met.


If a common platform firm, other than a credit institution, is:

  1. (1)

    a natural person; or

  2. (2)

    a legal person managed by a single natural person;

it must have alternative arrangements in place which ensure sound and prudent management of the firm.

[Note: article 9(4) second paragraph of MiFID]