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Training course on ‘MiFID II/MiFIR: Evolution and Revolution’

The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II and the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFID II/MiFIR), which rolled out in January 2018, were issued to regulate financial markets and improve protection for investors. The most recent training course by the Florence School of Banking and Finance, taught by experts from practice and academia, aimed to prepare professionals working in the financial sector, both at public and private level, to grasp the theory and practice of the new framework and to understand how the new rules affect the way in which banks and investment firms provide investment services and perform trading activities.

The course, entitled ‘MiFID II/MiFIR: Evolution and Revolution‘, was held on 17-19 June 2019 and addressed the main aspects of MiFID II and MiFIR, also in the light of their initial impact, focusing on the regulatory changes with respect to the previous framework (the ‘evolution’) and the regulatory innovations that it will bring in the sector (‘revolution’).

The course was directed and taught by Danny Busch, Full Professor of Financial Law and Director of the Institute for Financial Law at the University of Nijmegen, and Matteo Gargantini, Assistant Professor of European Economic Law at the University of Utrecht, previously at Consob, the Italian Securities and Exchange Commission. After an initial overview of the rationale of MiFID II and the main changes it introduced, the instructors focused on its impact on the financial services industry and particularly on investment firms, in the framework of which they focused on how does MiFID II combine with the earlier Capital Requirements Directive IV.

During the following sessions, participants received an overview of how the new regime affects several industry aspects. In joint session with Veerle Colaert, Chair for financial law at KU Leuven University and co-director of the KU Leuven Jan Ronse Institute for Company and Financial Law, the instructors highlighted how agency problems are regulated by MiFID II, discussing in particular how investment advice is regulated, conflicts of interest and self-placement, as well as the new regime for inducements and independent financial advice. Instructors then addressed the topic of product governance and product intervention, highlighting the rationale and practice of how harmful products can be excluded from the market.

Additionally, through sessions jointly led with Pedro Pinto, Director for Advocacy at AFME’s Brussels Office, the instructors provided an overview of how MiFID II ensures market integrity, particularly on monitoring and compliance duties for regulated markets and on how high-frequency trading is regulated.

The last day of the course, Diego Valiante, Senior officer and team leader at the European Commission DG FISMA and Adjunct Professor at the University of Bologna, delivered a presentation on how to access and process MiFID Data, whereas instructors discussed the effects of MiFID II / MiFIR on third country-firms, particularly in relation to retails clients, eligible counterparties, professional clients, discussing also the role of ESMA and the possible scenarios after Brexit.

Finally, the course was closed by a practical session led by professor Colaert, who discussed the parallelisms between MiFID and the Insurance Distribution Directive and kicked off a group session where participants were asked to assess the impacts of both directives on financial products.