Romeo is the leading partner of the Italian financial services regulatory team and the head of the Financial Markets Department of Simmons & Simmons in Italy. He focuses on financial markets (including the insurance market and insurance products), where he has extensive knowledge of investment services, financial instruments, structured products and derivatives (both credit and equity derivatives), asset management, investment funds and market regulation.
Romeo regularly provides advice in relation to cross-border regulatory projects, including passporting procedures and the obtaining of the required local licences from relevant regulators. A key part of this process is ensuring that applicable EU legislation (including MiFID and EMIR) is adequately reflected in the operations of domestic and international financial institutions operating in Italy.
In the context of his area of expertise, Romeo also works for listed companies in relation to stock exchange regulatory issues and related corporate matters.
He is a regular speaker at seminars and is the author of several articles on topics related to financial services, structured products, asset management, investment funds and market regulation. Romeo is mentioned in all major legal directories (including The Legal 500) as a financial services, funds and regulatory expert.
Romeo was named "Best Regulatory Lawyer of the Year" at the TopLegal Awards 2018.
He received the "Funds' practice of the Year in Italy" award at the TopLegal Industry Awards 2018.
He received the "Finance Law Firm of the Year in Italy" award at the Legalcommunity Finance Awards 2019.
- Recent Work
- advising a leading investment bank on a structured fund product which formed the hedge for the first Italian index-linked insurance product with exposure to the BRIC markets and issued by one of Italy's largest insurance companies
- advising a leading investment bank in establishing Milan branch and in launching its Italian wholesale retail and corporate banking products offer, including passporting of its UCITS funds and MiFID implementation
- advising a number of foreign asset managers and MiFID firms in setting up their Italian operations as rep offices, branches or subsidaries
- advising a major Italian insurance company in relation to the restructuring/transformation of an index-linked insurance product with exposure to structured notes issued by Islandic banks into a “ramo I” life insurance product guaranteed by the insurance company
- advising major domestic and international financial institutions and asset managers in considering the impact of BREXIT and adjusting their businesses accordingingly
- advising various banks and investment firms in relation to the implementation of MiFID 2
- advising various banks and investment firms in relation to the implementation of general requirements deriving from MiFID. Advice to a number of international investment banks and to some domestic institutions and the Italian branches of a number of foreign investment firms co-ordinating relevant projects from a cross-jurisdictional perspective and assisting them in the development and structuring of their investment services business, with a specific focus on corporate governance arrangements, procedures and internal policies, conflicts of interest and inducements, and customer documentation and distribution agreements
- advising a major international asset manager in the obtaining of the first ever license granted by the Bank of Italy to foreign Alternative Investment Funds (Credit Funds) to do direct lending in Italy.
Romeo joined Simmons & Simmons in Rome in 2002 and became a partner in 2006. He is the national practice group head of our Italian financial markets department. Prior to joining Simmons & Simmons, Romeo worked at a leading international law firm from 1993 to 2001 (appointed partner in 1998), co-ordinating the Italian financial services group.
Romeo worked with AIMA (the Alternative Investment Management Association Ltd) on an Italian hedge funds industry survey, which was released in April 2006 and has been the speaker and author of a number of seminars and publications.
Romeo is also Strategy Director of the Italian association Select Milano, whose main objective is to identify and pursue opportunities arising from BREXIT.
Romeo was admitted to the Rome Bar in 1996.