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AIC Ian Sayers

AIC welcomes Sweden’s AIFM proposals

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The Association of Investment Companies has welcomed the Swedish Presidency’s proposed amendments to the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive. 

The AIC says the original proposals, published in April, would cause difficulties for the investment company sector.

The new proposals are wide-ranging and highlight possible changes to the specific obligations implied by the directive, for example on leverage, liquidity management and requirement for independent valuation, as well as the overall framework for its application – who it applies to and the way any marketing passport would operate.

Ian Sayers, acting director general at the AIC, says: “The Swedish Presidency’s decision to publish possible amendments is extremely welcome. It sheds light on the direction that member states think the proposals might move and should allow a more informed discussion during the next stage of the debate. The Swedes are to be congratulated on taking this initiative.

“The proposed amendments demonstrate that policymakers are seeking to get to grips with critical issues, including those which are fundamental to the future of the investment company sector. Notably they raise the possibility of the company itself taking responsibility for compliance with the directive. We would welcome this approach as it would maintain the legal status of the board, remove the possibility of regulatory conflict between it and the manager and preserve its ability to ensure the company is run in the best interest of shareholders. 

“The paper also indicates that very serious consideration is being given to concerns which have been raised about the impact of the original draft on the relationship of the EU financial services sector with the rest of the world. These questions are among the most complicated and contentious areas of the whole debate. A number of changes are being put forward which could remove some of the most serious problems the original approach would create.

“We will be analysing the proposals in detail to fully understand how the investment company sector might be affected if the directive were amended as suggested.  However, it is important to recognise that these changes are not set in stone and they could still be changed by member states or MEPs. Nevertheless, these suggestions confirm our view that the discussions we have been having with policymakers in the UK and Europe have been constructive and that there is a serious intention to amend the draft directive so that it delivers workable rules.”

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