A recommendation by the European Securities and Markets
Authority (ESMA) to grant Guernsey a 'third country'
passport under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive
(AIFMD) has been welcomed by the Island's funds sector.
In announcing its findings from the 'Call for Evidence -
AIFMD passport and third country AIFMs' consultation ESMA
confirmed that Guernsey had demonstrated the ability to satisfy the
criteria required under AIFMD. Of the six jurisdictions assessed,
ESMA concluded that "no obstacles exist to the extension of
the passport to Guernsey and Jersey, while Switzerland will remove
any remaining obstacles with the enactment of pending legislation.
No definitive view has been reached on Hong Kong, Singapore and the
USA due to concerns related to competition, regulatory issues and a
lack of sufficient evidence to properly assess the relevant
Following today's release, ESMA has now forwarded its advice
and opinion to "the Commission, Parliament and Council for
their consideration on whether to activate the relevant provision
in the AIFMD extending the passport through a Delegated
Dominic Wheatley, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance, said:
"Guernsey's response to the AIFMD regime has been second
to none, so to receive ESMA's recommendation for an AIFMD
passport extension is extremely pleasing. "Guernsey has had
its own opt-in equivalent AIFMD regime fully operational since 1
January 2014 - well in advance of today's news. We did this in
order to demonstrate the high standards that our funds industry
works to and are now ideally placed to continue to provide access
Andrew Whittaker, Chairman of the Guernsey Investment Fund
Association (GIFA), said ESMA's recommendation would enable
Guernsey to operate on a level playing field with its European
counterparts in the future.
"As a non-EU jurisdiction with close proximity and business
ties to the EU, it is essential that we are able to comply with
AIFMD for those clients obliged to or who wish to take advantage of
the regime," said Mr Whittaker.
"Our opt-in equivalent regime may make commercial sense for
a fund manager marketing almost exclusively to Europe and who
therefore may require full AIFMD compliance. In being able to offer
both EU and non-EU solutions from one location, Guernsey will be
ideally placed to serve the global fund industry."
"Guernsey has a huge advantage as a fund domicile in terms
of its regulatory integrity and the infrastructure of advisers and
service providers which make up its thriving fund industry. There
are more than 50 fund managers, administrators and custodians
servicing assets valued at £222.3 billion. Quality of service
is also evidenced by the fact that Guernsey's fund industry now
administers or manages nearly 250 open-ended funds which are
domiciled in other jurisdictions."
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