About the Specialist Fund Segment

The Specialist Fund Segment is London Stock Exchange’s regulated market for specialised investment entities that wish to target institutional, highly knowledgeable and professionally advised investors.

The SFS further enhances London’s appeal to specialist investment managers seeking access to permanent capital from a sophisticated global investor base.

The SFS appeals to a variety of different types of investment managers, including those managing large hedge funds, private equity funds, and certain emerging market and specialist property funds, seeking admission to a public market in London.

As the SFS is an EU regulated market, securities admitted to the market are eligible for most investor mandates providing a pool of liquidity for issuers admitted to the market.

Admission Process

Admission to trading is a two stage process requiring:

  • Approval of a prospectus by the applicant’s Home Competent Authority (There is no requirement for the issuer to provide an eligibility letter to the FCA thus shortening turnaround times required for document approval).
  • Subsequent application to London Stock Exchange for admission to trading on the Specialist Fund Segment.


Where a prospectus has been approved by an EEA Competent

Authority other than the UK Listing Authority (a division of the FCA), the applicant needs to request that its Home Competent Authority which approved the prospectus submits the relevant documents to the UKLA. This is known as ‘passporting’.

Trading on the Specialist Fund Segment

Securities will be traded on either the SETS or SETSqx trading services, depending upon the profile of each security and the relevant settlement and clearing arrangements. SETS is our electronic order book with integrated market maker liquidity. SETSqx is our trading service which combines market maker quotes with additional order book functionality to provide continuous liquidity throughout the day. Please note that a revised version of the Guidance for Admission to Trading for new applicants is now available in our Document Library.

Potential issuers and their advisers

The Specialist Fund Segment is not intended as an admission route to a regulated market for investment entities that are intending to make a retail offering in the UK. The Specialist Fund Segment is not open to trading companies. You can read more about SFS in our Document Library where you can find the SFS factsheet, guidance for admission and all summary documents.


Intermediaries conducting designated investment business

FCA-authorised firms conducting designated investment business with retail customers under FSA Conduct of Business rules are reminded that securities admitted to trading on the Specialist Fund Segment will be securities that may have characteristics such as:

  • Variable levels of secondary market liquidity
  • Sophisticated corporate structures
  • Highly leveraged structures
  • Sophisticated investment propositions with concentrated risks and are therefore intended for institutional, professional and highly knowledgeable investors.

Applicants and their advisers not subject to FSA Conduct of Business Rules are responsible for compliance with equivalent conduct of business or point of sale rules in the jurisdiction in which they are based or in which they are marketing the securities concerned (if applicable).

Useful Documents

SFS Factsheet

Guidance for admission

Public vs private factsheet

Summary sheet

Guidance for admission to trading for new applicants