What is an Investment Firm?

MiFIR Investment Firms have a reporting obligation for MiFIR and EMIR, and there are ~10,000 distinct, active Investment Firms across Europe.

An Investment Firm is any firm which provides investment services;

Ref Service Definition FCA Register Code Example Businesses
1 Reception and transmission of orders in relation to one or more financial instruments Bringing together two or more investors, thereby bringing about a transaction between those investors  130 Introductory brokers
2 Execution of orders on behalf of clients ‘Execution of orders on behalf of clients’ means acting to conclude agreements to buy or sell one or more financial instruments on behalf of clients and includes the conclusion of agreements to sell financial instruments issued by an investment firm or a credit institution at the moment of their issuance  131 Institutional Brokers

Retail Brokers

3 Dealing on own account ‘dealing on own account’ means trading against proprietary capital resulting in the conclusion of transactions in one or more financial instruments;
(see also – market maker)
 132 Proprietary traders

HFTs

4 Portfolio management ‘portfolio management’ means managing portfolios in accordance with mandates given by clients on a discretionary client-by-client basis where such portfolios include one or more financial instruments  133 Private Wealth Managers

Asset Managers (exc private wealth)

5 Investment advice ‘investment advice’ means the provision of personal recommendations to a client, either upon its request or at the initiative of the investment firm, in respect of one or more transactions relating to financial instruments;  134 Financial Advisors
6 Underwriting of financial instruments and/or placing of financial instruments on a firm commitment basis  135
7 Placing of financial instruments without a firm commitment basis  136
8 Operation of an MTF ‘multilateral trading facility’ or ‘MTF’ means a multilateral system, operated by an investment firm or a market operator, which brings together multiple third-party buying and selling interests in financial instruments – in the system and in accordance with non-discretionary rules – in a way that results in a contract in accordance with Title II of this Directive  137 MTFs
9 Operation of an OTF ‘organised trading facility’ or ‘OTF’ means a multilateral system which is not a regulated market or an MTF and in which multiple third-party buying and selling interests in bonds, structured finance products, emission allowances or derivatives are able to interact in the system in a way that results in a contract in accordance with Title II of this Directive;  n/a OTFs
10 Market making ‘market maker’ means a person who holds himself out on the financial markets on a continuous basis as being willing to deal on own account by buying and selling financial instruments against that person’s proprietary capital at prices defined by that person; n/a