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BVCA Jargon Buster

The BVCA works across a wide range of areas and engages with a number of government departments and international bodies from across the world.

We are conscious that many acronyms are used and for the benefit of our members, some of these are explained below.
UK Government bodies

HM Treasury

HMT is the government’s economic and finance ministry. It is responsible for a number of policy areas that impact the private equity and venture capital industry, including financial regulation and taxation.

HM Revenue & Customs

HMRC is a non-ministerial department of the UK Government responsible for the collection of taxes, the payment of some forms of state support, and the administration of other regulatory regimes.

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

BEIS is the government ministry responsible for business, industrial strategy, science, innovation, energy and climate change policy. The BVCA has worked with BEIS and its predecessor, BIS, on a number of areas, including company law, corporate governance, cutting red tape and the register of people with significant control.

Financial Conduct Authority

The FCA is the conduct regulator for the financial services industry in the UK, and the prudential regulator for those parts of the sector that are not regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority, including private equity and venture capital.

Prudential Regulation Authority

The PRA is part of the Bank of England. It is the prudential regulator for banks, building societies, credit unions, insurers and major investment firms.

Financial Policy Committee

The FPC is part of the Bank of England responsible for identifying and monitoring systemic risks to the UK financial system, including levels of leverage and debt. It can make recommendations to the FCA and PRA to introduce changes to mitigate risks to the financial system.

Financial Reporting Council

The FRC is the UK’s independent regulator for promoting high quality corporate governance and reporting. The FRC sets standards for corporate reporting and audit practice and monitors and enforces accounting and auditing standards. It also oversees the regulatory activities of the professional accountancy bodies.

The European Union

European Council

The European Council consists of the heads of government of the 28 EU Member States. It sets the general political direction of the EU and establishes its priorities by adopting “conclusions” following quarterly summits. It is not one of the EU’s legislating bodies, and should not be confused with the Council of the European Union (see below).

European Commission

The European Commission is the executive branch of the European Union. It has the sole power to initiate legislative proposals, which must be approved by both the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union (see below). While the Commission does not have the power to introduce or veto amendments to legislation, if it objects to amendments unanimity is required in the Council for the amendments to be adopted. This, along with the Commission’s agenda setting power, makes it a key player in negotiations over EU laws.

Council of the European Union

The Council of the European Union is one of the European Union’s two ‘co-legislators’, along with the European Parliament (see below). It consists of government Ministers from the EU Member States who meet to discuss, amend and adopt laws proposed by the European Commission (see above).

European Parliament

The European Parliament is, along with the Council of the European Union, one the EU’s co-legislators. It is composed of 751 elected MEPs organised into 8 recognised political groupings. The Parliament can approve and amend proposals made by the Commission, but must agree a final text with the Council in order for a proposal to become law.


Trialogues are informal meetings of representatives from the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission. They are used to agree amendments to legislation that are acceptable to all three parties.

European Supervisory Authorities

The European Banking Authority (EBA), the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) are the three European Supervisory Authorities. While national supervisory authorities remain in charge of supervising individual financial institutions, the ESAs aim to improve the functioning of the internal market by promoting harmonised European regulation and supervision by developing Level 2 regulation (secondary legislation) and guidance. They are accountable to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.

European Securities and Markets Authority

ESMA, based in Paris, is the ESA (see above) responsible for promoting stable and orderly financial markets. ESMA’s remit includes markets and securities regulation, asset management and investor protection.

European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority

EIOPA, based in Frankfurt, is the ESA (see above) responsible for the supervision of the insurance and pension sectors, and ensuing that policyholders are sufficiently protected.

European Banking Authority

The EBA, based in London, is the ESA (see above) responsible for the banking sector. Its overall objectives are to maintain the EU’s financial stability and to safeguard the integrity, efficiency and orderly functioning of the banking sector.

Regulatory Technical Standards

Level 1 (primary) legislation may empower the Commission to adopt technical standards in the form of RTS. The RTS are prepared by the relevant ESAs, and submitted to the Commission, which has 3 months to adopt the RTS or send them back to the ESAs for amendment. Once adopted by the Commission, there is a 1 month window (which may be extended to 3 months) for the European Parliament and the Council to object to the proposals.

Implementing Technical Standards

Level 1 (primary) legislation may empower the Commission to adopt technical standards in the form of ITS. The ITS are prepared by the relevant ESAs, and submitted to the Commission, which has 3 months to adopt the RTS or send them back to the ESAs for amendment. Unlike RTS (see above), ITS are not scrutinised by the Parliament or the Council.

European Central Bank

The ECB is the central bank for the Eurozone. It is responsible for monetary policy in the Eurozone, as well as identifying and monitoring systemic threats to financial stability such as excessive levels of leverage and debt.

European Investment Bank

The EIB is the EU's development bank, owned by the Member States. It uses its creditworthiness to borrow at low rates on international capital markets and works closely with other EU institutions to finance projects that contribute to EU policy objectives.

European Investment Fund

The EIF is a specialist provider of risk finance to SMEs across Europe. Between 2011 and 2015 the EIF invested €2.3bn into UK venture capital and growth funds. It is majority owned by the EIB (see above).

The European private equity and venture capital industry

Bundesverband Deutscher

The BVK is the German private equity and venture capital trade association.

Invest Europe

Invest Europe, formerly EVCA, is the pan-European trade body for private equity and venture capital.

European Private Equity Roundtable

EPER is the Invest Europe committee that represents large buyout houses. It feeds into the policy work of Invest Europe and the PAE (see below).

France Invest

France Invest is the French private equity and venture capital trade association.

Public Affairs Executive

The PAE is the industry’s strategic decision-making body for EU-level public affairs. It consists of representatives from the venture capital, mid-market and large buyout parts of the private equity industry, as well as institutional investors and representatives of national private equity associations, including the BVCA. The PAE makes policy submissions on behalf of the European private equity and venture capital industry to the European Institutions and international bodies.

Professional Standards Committee

The PSC is the Invest Europe Committee that helps to ensure that proper professional standards are maintained across the European private equity and venture capital industry through its member firms’ support of an industry-led Code of Conduct.

Rep Group
European Representative Group

The Rep Group consists of Invest Europe and the private equity and venture capital associations from individual EU Member States, including the BVCA. It provides a forum for coordinating action at a Member State level and feeds into the work of the PAE (see above).

Tax Legal and Regulatory Committee

The TLRC is the Invest Europe Committee that deals with tax, legal and regulatory matters affecting the European private equity and venture capital industry. The TLRC provides expert advice to the PAE, of which its chair is a member, and drafts position papers and consultation responses for approval by the PAE.


International Organization of Securities Commissions

IOSCO the international body that brings together national securities regulators, and develops, implements and promotes adherence to international standards for securities regulation. The FCA (see above) is the UK member. It works closely with the G20 and the FSB (see below) on the international regulatory agenda.

Financial Stability Board

The FSB is the international body responsible for promoting financial stability. It identifies and monitors global systemic risks, and works with national authorities and international standard setting bodies to respond to threats as they arise. The FSB is chaired by Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

The OECD is an intergovernmental economic organisation designed to promote policies that will improve economic and social well-being. It has a wide-ranging remit including trade and investment, economic growth, employment, health, education and tax. The OECD is responsible for the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) initiative which looks to tackle tax avoidance strategies that exploit gaps and mismatches in tax rules to artificially shift profits to low or no-tax locations.


The G20 is the central forum for international cooperation on financial and economic issues made up of 19 countries and the European Union. Much of the global tax transparency agenda and post-financial crisis regulatory framework originated in discussions between finance ministers, central bankers and heads of government at a G20 level.

Financial Action Task Force

FATF is an inter-governmental body established to set global standards for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and related threats to the integrity of the international financial system. FATF also monitors the progress of its members in implementing the measures it recommends.

Other trade associations and industry bodies

Association of British Insurers

The ABI is the trade body for the insurance industry and providers of savings products and services.

Association of Investment Companies

The AIC represents the mutual funds industry as well as some venture capital trusts.

Alternative Investment Management Association

AIMA is the global trade associations for the hedge fund and private debt fund industry.

Association for Financial Markets in Europe

AFME is the trade body for participants in wholesale financial markets. Primarily leading European and global investment banks as well as other significant capital market players.

European Fund and Asset Management Association

EFAMA is the trade association for the traditional European investment management industry.

The Investment Association

The Investment Association is the trade body that represents the UK’s traditional investment management industry.

Institutional Limited Partners Association

ILPA is the global industry association for private equity Limited Partners. It aims to promote best practice in the private equity industry, and publishes standardised industry documents and reporting templates.

Joint Money Laundering Steering Group

The Joint Money Laundering Steering Group is made up of the leading UK trade associations in the financial services Industry. Its aim is to promulgate good practice in countering money laundering and to give practical assistance in interpreting the UK Money Laundering Regulations. This is primarily achieved by the publication of industry-specific guidance.

Office for Tax Simplification

The OTS is an independent office of HM Treasury and gives independent advice to the government on simplifying the UK tax system.

Private Equity Reporting Group

The PERG is the independent body that monitors conformity with the Walker Guidelines on transparency and disclosure within UK private equity industry. PERG also makes recommendations to the BVCA on improvements in the levels of openness and communication amongst the largest private equity houses in the UK.

Wealth Management Association

The WMA is the UK trade association for wealth managers, private banks and stockbrokers.

UK Finance

UK Finance represents firms providing finance, banking, markets and payments-related services in the UK. This organisation was created in 2017 by combining most of the activities of the Asset Based Finance Association (ABFA), the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA), Payments UK, and the UK Cards Association.

US regulation

Investment Adviser

Any person who, for compensation, engages in the business of advising others, either directly or through publications or writings, as to the value of securities or as to the advisability of investing in, purchasing, or selling securities or who, for compensation and as part of a regular business, issues or promulgates analyses or reports concerning securities (Section 202(a)(11), Investment Advisers Act of 1940).

Registered Investment Adviser

An investment adviser that is registered under the Investment Advisers Act with the SEC (see below) and/or state securities authorities, as applicable.

Exempt Reporting Advisor

An investment adviser exempt from registration with the SEC due to falling within the Venture Capital Fund, Foreign Private Adviser or Private Fund Adviser exemptions, among others.

Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act

FATCA is a 2010 United States federal law to enforce the requirement for United States persons including those living outside the U.S. to file yearly reports on their non-U.S. financial accounts to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN).

Securities and Exchange Commission

The SEC is an independent government body in the US, and its aim is to protect investors; maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets; and facilitate capital formation.

How the BVCA influences policy

The private equity industry’s primary decision-making body for political engagement at a European level is the Public Affairs Executive (PAE), which brings together practitioners from across Europe, representatives from national venture capital associations and Invest Europe—the pan-European industry body. The BVCA, France Invest (the French trade association) and the BVK (the German trade association) have permanent seats on the PAE, and Invest Europe provides the secretariat. Other national trade associations have a rotating seat filled by the country holding the EU presidency, and also feed into decision making through the European Representative Group—a deliberating body composed of representatives of all the national private equity and venture capital associations and Invest Europe.

The BVCA engages directly with policy makers in the UK and international bodies outside of the European Union. However, our close relationship with our colleagues in Europe ensures that our positions are joined up, and the European industry speaks with a unified voice.
Further information


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