Two of the first three UK fund managers to achieve Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) approval under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) have selected Guernsey-headquartered private equity specialist Ipes to provide depositary services.
Under the AIFMD, UK private equity firms could benefit from a FCA 'passport' to market their funds in Europe. To achieve this, firms need to fulfil criteria including the appointment of an independent depositary.
On 22 July 2013, Doughty Hanson, one of the largest independent private firms in Europe, became amongst the first firms to be authorised under the EU AIFMD. Such authorisation entitles it to a passport to market Doughty Hanson VI uninterrupted around Europe.
Whilst UK firms can postpone the appointment of a depositary until 2014 under provisions negotiated by the Treasury some fund managers, and in particular those in the process of fundraising in Europe, are seeking to gain compliance early.
Justin Partington, Ipes' Guernsey-based Commercial Director, said: "Ipes began preparing for the AIFMD two years ago. As early as July 2012 we were approached by clients and other fund managers looking for support around meeting depositary requirements.
"Our service is now live and we are experiencing significant demand which shows fund managers are actively engaging with this legislation and are seeking a pragmatic and specialist approach."
Ipes is offering a full range of depositary functions for other assets as defined under the Directive. In consultation with a leading city law firm and a Big 4 consultancy it has prepared a detailed operating manual enabling it to operate a light touch depositary service with a specialist private equity focus.
Several other fund managers are currently working with Ipes to complete their depositary registration.
For more information about Guernsey's finance industry please visit www.guernseyfinance.com.
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