Fiona Le Poidevin, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance - the
promotional agency for the Island's finance industry, said:
"The introduction of the opt-in regime means that we have
another piece of the jigsaw in place to ensure that Guernsey funds
can continue to be distributed to both EU and non-EU countries in
Guernsey is not in the European Union (EU) and therefore
considered a 'third country' for the purposes of AIFMD.
In response to AIFMD and to cater for its global client base,
Guernsey has adopted a 'dual regime' where there are two
parallel regulatory regimes for investment funds: the existing
regime remains in place for managers and investors not requiring an
AIFMD fund, including those using EU national private placement
regimes and those marketing to non-EU investors; and an opt-in
regime which is fully compliant with AIFMD.
Miss Le Poidevin said: "Third countries are not required to
implement an AIFMD equivalent regime until the third country
passport becomes available in 2015, but we felt that it was
important to provide Guernsey managers and depositaries with
certainty as soon as possible. It is therefore very pleasing that
we have been able to publish the rules now and will have them
effective from the start of 2014.
"Of course, many of our clients will continue to use our
existing regulatory regime based on a commercial preference either
to access the EU through national private placement regimes - which
is expected to continue until 2018 - or because they are not
marketing to EU investors."
The GFSC has published its AIFMD rules following two periods of
consultation, the second of which started in September.
Speaking at an event last week, Peter Ames, Partner at EY in
London, said that Guernsey's dual regime could become a model
for other offshore jurisdictions. Such an approach will enable the
jurisdiction "to cater for investors that are completely
outside the EU and have no interaction with AIFMD at all," he
"The Directive will inevitably impose additional costs on
in-scope funds managed by an AIFM and if you stay outside the
regime, principally if you're not marketing to Europe, it's
helpful to have a regime that allows you to do that. Equally, if
you do want to market to Europe it is helpful to have a regime,
which is respected as the same standard as Europe and you can
market when passporting for such non-EU funds comes on
Miss Le Poidevin added: "Our dual regime provides clients
with real options in structuring their investment funds so that
they can best meet commercial objectives as well as investor
demands, and industry practitioners are reporting a growing number
of enquiries from those who are wishing to take advantage of the
solutions Guernsey can provide."
Latest figures from the GFSC show that the net asset value of
investment funds under management and administration in Guernsey
reached £286 billion at the end of June 2013 - an increase of
£15.2 billion (5.6%) on a year previous.
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