Asset Management and Financial Services

Alongside general consultancy for issues involving supervisory and tax law, the core business of WTS, in the fields of asset management and financial Services, consists in particular of legal and tax advice regarding the establishment and structuring of regulated and non-regulated, German and international, investment funds. Additionally, WTS provides comprehensive advice to institutional investors such as family offices, industrial enterprises and pension funds regarding the structuring of their investments.

A full range of services also implies for us that in the context of in-sourcing solutions, we advise you in fund compliance for tax purposes, analyze market opportunities with you, and assist you in carrying out tax risk management functions.


German regulatory legislation for banks is diverse and constantly changing. WTS advises national and international banks, financial service providers and other financial intermediaries on this complex area of the law.

We develop solutions for our clients‘ cross-border financial services and guide them through the licensing procedures with the regulatory authorities. We also advise our clients on the structuring of outsourcing solutions. In addition, we advise German and international clients on the legal and tax aspects of acquiring and establishing banks in Germany, as well as on capital adequacy requirements.


 

In addition to regulated investment funds, we also advise on closed-end funds. In addition to fund initiators, our clients include investors in these closed-ended fund products. We pursue a cross-border approach to legal advice. Our particular industry expertise is in private equity, venture capital, real estate, infrastructure and renewable energy. The focus of our advice on closed-ended funds is in tax-related matters. We advise fund initiators, cross-border where necessary, on the tax structuring of closed-end fund products and on designing tax-optimized “carried interest“ structures. We also advise fund investors (e.g. funds of funds, family offices) and administer tax due diligence on their behalf. In addition, we negotiate side letters on tax topics for investors to meet the particular requirements of German tax law in the ongoing declaration of funds. Besides advising on German tax law, another key area of our work is in U.S. tax law. In this context, we work closely with our U.S.-based WTS partner, WTS US LLC, New Jersey


 

As a full-service advisor to the entire fund industry we also  advise our clients on issues of corporate law. In addition to the establishment of banks, financial service institutions, investment management companies, investment stock corporations and other entities with different legal forms, this work covers the routine corporate law requirements of these companies. We offer comprehensive advice and guidance, from general commercial and corporate law through group law, restructuring and conversions, to specific issues of corporate law relating to private limited companies (GmbH), equity and capital markets. This includes not least the organization and conducting of board and shareholder meetings, as well as supporting company officers such as directors and supervisory board members in their legal requirements.


 

One of our core competences is the advice on regulated investment funds as defined in the (German) Investment Act (InvG). We are one of the consultancies with sufficient expertise to give advice on regulated investment funds throughout their whole life cycle. Besides developing the initial concept and creating efficient tax and regulatory solutions for our clients (and their investors), we prepare all fund documentation and provide support for the filing procedure with the German fund regulatory authorities, where necessary. After the fund has been launched, we provide our clients with ongoing advice on all corporate, tax and regulatory law matters, as well as compliance issues. WTS is also specifically able to provide tax certification for German and international investment funds.
In addition to the structuring of special-purpose fund solutions, UCITS funds and real estate funds, our particular expertise covers the structuring of regulated loan funds, commodity funds and funds with alternative investment strategies.

We also provide support to non-German fund companies regarding the public distribution of foreign investment funds in Germany. In this respect, we prepare any documentation that is required and advise on licensing procedures with the regulatory authorities.

We are considered to be the leading advisors in the area of investment stock corporations.
We also advise investment management companies, investment stock corporations, independent asset managers and family offices on regulatory, corporate and tax matters in their day-to-day business. The key areas covered include custodian banks, securities lending and outsourcing as well as general investment tax issues.


 

Based on many years of experience with regulated and non-regulated fund products we know that the only way to optimize implementation of our clients‘ objectives is that the advice on supervisory law goes hand in hand with advice on (investment) tax law.

We support regulated and non-regulated funds over their entire life cycle. We develop the initial concept with the regulatory and tax viewpoints in mind and create efficient solutions for fund companies and their investors. Additionally, we support our clients in preparing the basis for taxation, their implementation in taxation at group level for example, and we also act in an advisory capacity during any tax inspection.

Our advisors are considered to be at the forefront of investment tax law. The team‘s client base includes a large number of non-German fund providers and asset managers, whom it advises on the (regulatory and) tax aspects of their German market entry. Team members take a leading role in the IT-based automation of compliance and reporting requirements.

Our advisory team has set the standard as coeditors and authors of the 2 leading commentaries on German investment law and investment tax law, both published in 2010.

Our expertise does not stop at the German border. One of our long-held passions, based on the many years of experience of our advisers, is dealing with (regulated) investment funds in an international context in respect of withholding tax issues, as well as handling the different fund vehicles under double tax treaties and foreign tax law.

We also advise investment management companies, investment stock corporations, independent asset managers and family offices on tax matters in their day-to-day business, as well as on relevant capital market products. This includes the tax handling of securities bonds, outsourcing agreements and general (investment) tax issues.


 

International developments in real estate and asset management have substantially increased the complexity of the tax and regulatory conditions which need to be borne in mind.
Our experts in investment law, investment tax law and the German REIT Act have in-depth knowledge of the regulatory intricacies of the national and international real estate market. This advantage is appreciated by private and institutional investors such as family offices, insurance companies or pension funds.

WTS offers its clients an analysis of existing real estate portfolios and develops long-term proposals for acquiring, restructuring and exiting from real estate investments, also tax-optimized. We also advise our clients on optimizing the tax liability for property transfer tax, real estate tax, VAT and income tax, as well as in relation to cross-border real estate transactions. We provide support in developing open-ended and closed-ended real estate funds, including product design, product structure and preparation of the prospectus.


 

Our current asset management transactions include:

  • Structuring of German and cross-border investment fund products that are both tax- efficient and regulated
  • Formation of regulated funds (including UCITS funds, specialized investment funds, investment stock corporations) for various clients in Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Switzerland, Gibraltar, the UK and off-shore jurisdictions
  • Advising pensions funds on the restructuring of their portfolio
  • Advising investment companies and investment stock corporations on custodian bank issues and the change of the custodian bank
  • Advising institutional clients on the transfer of specialized investment funds to other investment companies
  • Registration of foreign regulated investment funds with the German regulatory authority (BaFin)
  • Development of unregulated infrastructure funds in Germany (including tax structuring)
  • Structured products for various German and international clients (including platforms for structured products)
  • General advice to investment companies, banks and financial intermediaries (including structuring of cross-border activities, capital adequacy requirements for banks)
  • Support for national and international outsourcing projects from regulatory and tax viewpoints
  • Guidance on tax inspections
  • Representation before fiscal and administrative courts and with regard to the supervisory authorities

 

In the area of insurance supervisory law we advise national and international insurance companies with operations in Germany both on general issues of supervisory law and also specifically on the issue of investing committed assets. Our advisors are proven specialists in the field of investment regulations for insurance companies. We routinely develop and support the establishment of investment products for insurance companies in conjunction with investment companies and other financial intermediaries.

We also advise pension funds from a regulatory viewpoint, as they are also subject to the (German) Insurance Supervisory Act (VAG).


 

 

 

Current Issues

Should you have questions our partners are happy to assist:

Dieter Lübbehüsen

Partner
Tel.: +49 69 1338456-63 
dieter.luebbehuesen@wts.de

Robert Welzel

Partner
Tel.: +49 69 133 84 56-80
robert.welzel@wts.de

 

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