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Financial Services

Our Casablanca based team assists financial services companies and banks in Morocco and abroad on their day-to-day operations and wider strategic objectives, from banking and commercial transactions to regulatory demands and compliance. 

Our clients include asset managers, building societies, capital markets and their participants, investment banks, national regulators, private banks, private equity firms, DFIs, professional services organizations engaged in financial services, and retail banks. We also work with retail intermediaries on the legal issues involved in selling financial services to consumers. 

We can deliver a fully integrated cross-border service across multiple jurisdictions, collaborating with multidisciplinary teams worldwide. 

Our team is particularly adept at assisting Moroccan and African banks and other financial services providers in their regulatory requirements as well as in transactions.

Experience has included advising:

  • Immorente (CFG Bank) in the context of its IPO on the Casablanca Stock Exchange, including reviewing the lease agreement package and drafting amendments to ensure compliance. This is the first IPO of a real estate investment trust (REIT) in Morocco;
  • Société Générale Maroc in the review of its IT outsourcing contracts;
  • A real estate fund in the drafting of a joint venture agreement with a Moroccan bank for the setting up of a real estate investment vehicle (OPCI);
  • A development finance institution in the context of African bank's exchange of shares in banks situated in East Africa;
  • A German multinational bank regarding Moroccan legal and regulatory issues applicable to intra-bank loans concluded by SWIFT,  providing detailed regulatory advice on Moroccan law and prudential rules applicable to banks;
  • Aradei, the property management company of the Label'Vie group, in the context of the issuance of bonds for an amount of MAD600 million, in one or several instalments secured by a mortgage-backed security;
  • A major Moroccan bank on complex financing and derivatives issues concerning variation margins and rules provided under EMIR and Dodd-Frank Act;
  • FMO in the acquisition of a stake in a Moroccan bank and transfer of stakes owned by FMO in a foreign bank;
  • A major Moroccan bank on the conditions of subscription and distribution of shares issued by foreign funds invested in African debt securities issuers; and
  • A French multinational bank in a Moroccan law analysis regarding the legal qualification of guarantee deposits.

Digital transformation and financial inclusion in Nigeria

The fintech industry is popular for its dynamic approach to delivery and relies on technological advances. Innovations such as blockchain, mobile payments and savings, peer-to-peer lending platforms, crowdfunding and similar internet-based solutions have radically transformed the financial services landscape in Nigeria, challenging its traditional business models and regulatory infrastructure. However, beyond the noteworthy advancements in this sector, a key concern is giving the country’s growing population access to these innovative solutions.

Open banking in Africa after COVID-19

Open banking is a system where banks allow or authorize third parties, such as financial technology or fintech companies, to access their clients’ financial data to build applications or services. Anchored on providing better customer experiences, open banking has stirred a lot of interest in Africa, including banking apps with detailed analytics of finances, the ability to send money from one bank to another using mobile phones, or the ability to transfer money from one telecoms network to another.

Litigation funding in Africa: Maximizing opportunities

Third-party funding is not new; however, it is about to enter a period of unprecedented global growth – notably in Africa. The measures implemented by governments in response to COVID-19, coupled with the rapid economic downturn and ongoing uncertainty arising from the pandemic, have created the perfect storm. The outlook may seem bleak, but third-party funding offers a ray of hope for beleaguered boardrooms looking to maximize cashflow in this unpredictable period.