Steffi advises Belgian and foreign multinationals, financial institutions and fintechs on all regulatory aspects of financial services and insurance laws. Her principal area of focus is in the insurance, banking, payments, fintech and funds industries.
She advises clients on a wide range of financial services and regulatory issues affecting their business, such as licensing and compliance. This includes regulatory advice on banking laws (CRD V / CRR II), payment laws (PSD II), insurance laws (IDD, Solvency II), fintech issues (blockchain, crypto assets, etc.), consumer and mortgage credit laws, investment services laws (MiFID II / MiFIR), fund laws (UCITS, AIFMD), pension laws (IORPS and PEPP) and various organizational requirements for financial institutions (anti-money laundering, ESG, PRIIPS, corporate governance, etc.).
She assists clients with drafting, reviewing and negotiating contractual documentation, such as general terms and conditions, cash pooling agreements, investment management agreements, custody agreements and insurance distribution agreements.
She also assists clients with the regulatory aspects of transactional and restructuring work, including in relation to mergers and acquisitions (obtaining ECB/NBB/FSMA clearance), bonds and securities issues (reviewing and drafting of prospectuses), insolvency proceedings and the establishment and reorganization of financial institutions (licensing applications, securitization projects and Brexit restructurings).
Finally, she regularly assists clients with civil, criminal and administrative litigation in the financial services, insurance and corporate fields, such as in relation to directors' liability or constitutional matters.
Representative Legal Matters
- Assisting a consortium of institutional investors with acquiring a minority stake in a major Belgian financial market infrastructure, requiring various NBB, ECB and foreign approvals.
- Advising a major Belgian insurance company on its strategic mergers and acquisitions, requiring various regulatory approvals and clearances in Belgium and abroad.
- Advising an ECB-supervised banking group on the restructuring of its intra-group securitisation structure and liquidity facilities, requiring various approvals from the ECB and NBB ("strategic decisions", etc.).
- Assisting a UK insurance group with its post-Brexit restructuring and relocation plans, consisting of a licensing application before the Belgian regulators (FSMA).
- Assisting several Belgian private equity firms with their anti-money laundering (AML) and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) compliance obligations.
- Assisting one of the largest Belgian pension funds with drafting and negotiating investment management, outsourcing, custody and derivative agreements.
- Advising a global fintech on its regulatory risk exposures in expanding its crypto-currency business globally.
- Successfully representing Assuralia – Belgium’s sectoral organization for insurances – in a milestone matter before Belgium’s constitutional court in relation to the prescription periods in insurances.
- Laureate Sponsorship of the National Bank of Belgium, 2017
- Laureate FWO Grant for a research stay abroad, 2017
- Laureate Grant To Support Young Researchers, 2016-2017
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Belgian Insurance Commission - Permanent member since 2021
- University of Antwerp - Visiting lecturer since 2019
- Antwerp~Belgium (2019)
- University of Antwerp (PhD degree on Insurance Supervision and the Proportionality Principle) (2019)
- University of Connecticut (Visiting Scholar) (2017)
- Amsterdam Business School (Post-Graduate Course Certificate on Insurance Supervision, cum laude) (2015)
- University of Antwerp (Law Degree, magna cum laude) (2014)
Publications and Presentations
Steffi regularly publishes legal articles and alerts on financial services and insurance law topics:
- Author, "Nieuwe Belgische regelgeving voor cryptodienstverleners" (New Belgian regulations for crypto service providers), blog for vast-online.nl, March 2022
- Co-author, "Belgium: New regulatory regime for virtual currency service providers", Baker McKenzie client alert, March 2022
- Co-author, "Belgium: Harmonization of registration conditions for intermediaries in the financial services and insurance sector", Baker McKenzie client alert, February 2022
- Co-author, "Belgium: New rules for marketing and pre-marketing of investment funds", Baker McKenzie client alert, July 2021
- Co-author, "Bite-size Briefings: Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) regulation", Baker McKenzie Insights, July 2021
- Co-author, "Crypto around the world", Baker McKenzie Insights, May 2021