World Compass


World Compass provides investment and financial services firms with legal, regulatory and practical guidance on cross-border activities.

Subscribers have 24/7 access to concise and easy-to-use guidance on key areas, including marketing and distribution of funds and investment services. The platform also offers businesses and their in-house legal, compliance and client-facing teams additional information and tools, such as fly-in guides, disclaimer tools, wrap accounts and commercial lending.

Our network of lawyers across more than 100 jurisdictions ensure that World Compass subscribers have the latest guidance and information they need.

Comprehensive Coverage

Our World Compass team offers guidance on numerous areas, including:

  • World Compass provides marketing and distribution guidance in more than 100 countries for UCITS funds, open-end funds (including hedge funds, U.S. mutual funds and exchange traded funds) and private closed-end funds (including private equity, debt, real estate and infrastructure funds).

    The fund marketing module provides succinct information relating to marketing open-end and closed-ended funds to investors in each jurisdiction covering private placement rules, licensing and intermediary requirements, the permissibility of various marketing scenarios and other relevant requirements. The module also includes sample disclaimers and selling restrictions, Q&A on specific marketing scenarios and in-depth coverage of Europe’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD).

    This module will guide subscribers through the relevant issues and will answer real questions, such as:

    • Sales are planning an Asia roadshow. Where can we privately place our funds?
    • Do I need to use a locally licensed intermediary to privately place in Mexico?
    • Is there any difference between marketing LLPs and corporate trusts in Japan?
    • How will the recently announced regulatory changes in Switzerland impact Swiss placement?
    • Can you tell me about Art 42 AIF notifications?
  • World Compass’ investment management and advisory services module is a practical regulatory guide to cross-border marketing. It provides a concise summary of the rules relating to the ability to provide managed account services to institutional, professional and other qualifying investors in more than 65 jurisdictions.
    The information is provided from the perspective of both a non-EEA manager (e.g., U.S. investment adviser registered with the SEC) and an EEA manager (e.g., UK investment manager authorized by the FCA) and is designed to assist financial professionals in managing compliance obligations for the full life cycle of a managed account, including a Q&A on permissible marketing activities and guidance on client servicing and other applicable matters. World Compass also separately offers a detailed “wrap” account analysis from a U.S. adviser’s perspective.
    This module will guide subscribers through the relevant issues and will answer real questions, such as:
    • I have been approached by a Taiwan “introducer” – what can they do for me?
    • Can I respond to an RFP from a Kazakhstan SWF?
    • Do I need a license to manage money for Australian Super Funds?
    • Do I need a license or exemption for a PM to visit Brunei for scheduled client performance review meetings?
  • World Compass’ Fly-in Guides features tools and applications to assist in-house teams in addressing typical day to day issues and needs.

    Fly-in Quick Reference Guide (QRG)

    The Fly-in QRG provides a “traffic light” risk-based tool to address questions around cross-border marketing activity. In some countries, there are no specific rules, laws or regulations governing these detailed questions – in other instances there may ambiguity in the application or interpretation of the rules, laws and regulations governing such matters – and therefore no definitive legal answers. Against such a background, the information in the Fly-in QRG provides a suggested reference point (from consultation with local counsel) for a risk-based approach to cross-border activities. Additionally, each Fly-in QRG features a general list of “dos and don’ts” to assist in evidencing that marketing activities conducted on a cross-border basis are not viewed as “conducting business” in the relevant country.

    As with other modules on the World Compass platform, the Fly-in QRG has been optimised to be viewed ‘on the road’ via mobile devices.

    This module will guide subscribers through the relevant issues and will answer real questions, such as:

    • Can I call a contact at a sovereign wealth fund on an unsolicited basis to arrange to meet?
    • Can I take a marketing deck to a meeting with a client in their country?
    • A prospect has requested information on our funds – can I send that to them?
    • Can I cold call a prospect from outside their country?
    • What handouts can I take to an industry conference?
    • Can I invite my contact at a national bank to lunch?
  • World Compass’ wrap accounts module covers the provision of portfolio management services through separately managed account programs sponsored by a broker-dealer or other financial institutions (known as “wrap accounts”). It examines the extent to which an investment advisor can participate in programs on a cross-border basis without triggering local licensing or regulatory issues. It also provides guidance on related topics, such as providing model portfolios or accounts.

    This module will guide subscribers through the relevant issues and will answer real questions, such as:

    • What types of SMA programs can I participate in Australia without requiring a local license?
    • Does it make any difference if I only target “institutional” clients?
    • Can the sponsor of a wrap program in Latam meet in our head office in New York?
    • Are there any requirements that would restrict the adviser from buying certain securities?
  • Clients are often involved in cross-border commercial lending and debt activities – for example, where an alternative investment fund (AIF) originates loans to a commercial borrower or engages in secondary purchase of loans and/or loan restructurings. In response, World Compass provides practical guidance in key jurisdictions on relevant restrictions or licensing requirements, risks, alternative approaches where restrictions do hamper transactions, and any high level observations on significant tax issues.

    This module will guide subscribers through the relevant issues and will answer real questions, such as:

    • What restrictions or licensing requirements apply to an AIF carrying out commercial lending in Germany?
    • Is the secondary purchase of loans restricted in Denmark?
    • Are there restrictions on loan restructurings in France?
    • If commercial lending by an AIF is restricted in Hong Kong SAR, what alternative approaches are possible?
  • The U.S. pay-to-play / procurement lobbying module provides summaries of certain procurement lobbyist registration requirements in select jurisdictions in the United States. When seeking to solicit business from a U.S. retirement pension plan of a state, county, city or other municipality in the United States, lobbyist registration requirements may apply to the asset managers and broker-dealers as well as their employees, affiliates, or placement agents. Using this dedicated resource to navigate and understand these laws will help asset managers and broker-dealers make more informed decisions prior to communicating with such pension plans. The module includes summaries of the procurement lobbyist registration requirements in over 50 state, county and city jurisdictions, including the State of California and the key cities and counties therein (such as the City of Los Angeles, the County of Los Angeles, Orange County, and the City and County of San Francisco), the State of Texas, the State of New York and New York City.

    This module will guide subscribers through the relevant issues and answer questions such as:

    • How do lobbying laws impact solicitation of public pension plans?
    • What are the minimum contact, contract value, contribution, or expenditure thresholds for registration?
    • What is the timing of initial registration (for example, prior to contacting the pension plan or within five days of contact)?
    • If lobbyist registration is required, to whom and via what method is the registration submitted?
    • Are there any periodic reporting or other requirements that are applicable to registered lobbyists?

    This module also includes a summary of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s “pay-to-play” rule, which imposes special restrictions on the political activities of asset managers that seek to do business with retirement pension plans of a state, county, city or other municipality in the United States.

Other Features of World Compass

  • Disclaimer Toolkit: Users can tailor pre-approved disclaimers in accordance with their requirements.
  • Country Comparison: View the response to one question across multiple countries.
  • Alerts: All users will receive alerts by email when a significant change in regulation/legislation is made which will impact the content. These can also be viewed at a later date in the library.

Keeping You Current

  • All content is reviewed by local counsel, typically quarterly, and updated where necessary
  • Users can create redlines in World Compass to compare major versions and track recent changes
  • Downloadable content

Flexible and Cost Effective Subscription Options

— Worldwide access
— Across all modules or package of modules

— Per-country subscriptions available
— Tailored by module

Fund Registration
— Complementary fund registration services
— Registration/notification options for UCITS funds and AIFs

To learn more about how World Compass can help your organization reach its goals, contact Nigel Austin , Gus BlackChris Christian or Alexa Elmlinger Smith.

Learn more about Dechert's World Compass


Financial Times

World Compass was recognized by the Financial Times within the Client Service category of its top European Innovative Law Firms publication.

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