In order to market and distribute a fund or manage the assets of a fund in Australia, fund managers must be authorised or licenced by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (“ASIC”), or must have the benefit of a particular exemption. The fund manager will typically hold an Australian financial services license (“AFSL”) (or a “foreign AFSL”), or be appointed as an authorised representative of an AFSL holder (which may be the trustee of the fund).
Traditionally, AFSL exemptions were available, on application, to regulated entities in a few recognised foreign jurisdictions which the ASIC regards as having equivalent regulation and supervision as Australia, e.g. an investment adviser regulated by the SEC or the FCA would typically be entitled to an exemption upon application. That exemption process, however, has been replaced by a foreign Australian financial services licence regime, which requires these entities to apply for a foreign AFSL.
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