Campbell Lutyens plots Paris office amid Brexit concerns – exclusive

The advisory firm and placement agent wants to ensure it is regulated in continental Europe when the UK departs the EU.

Campbell Lutyens is laying the groundwork for a new office on the continent in light of the UK’s impending exit from the EU.

The placement agent and secondaries advisor is working with French authorities on opening a regulated subsidiary in Paris, managing partner and chief executive Andrew Sealey told sister publication Private Equity International.

The firm began exploring potential locations one year ago, taking into account the regulatory framework, associated costs and the ease with which it could support its EU-located clients.

“Whether it’s a hard or soft Brexit impacts the timing [of the opening],” Sealey said. “Under most realistic scenarios, one would need to be regulated in continental Europe to continue to do our type of business.”

It is unclear how many people and which functions would make the move.

A no-deal Brexit means the UK would leave the EU automatically on 29 March with no agreement governing their future relationship. Such an eventuality is still possible, due to the failure to reach an agreement so far.

In October, investment firm HarbourVest Partners said it would move a “substantive” number of employees to open an office in Dublin, including a number of investment professionals. In January, Pantheon and Hermes announced that they were following suit.

In August, a legal source told PEI that UK-regulated funds that do not have regulated offices in Europe could be “paralysed” if the UK leaves the EU with no cooperation agreement. Under the AIFM directive, European entities cannot delegate portfolio management to a country that does not have such an agreement in place.