The Irish funds industry has welcomed a harmonised framework for alternative investment fund managers and the regulatory changes to Irish collective investment schemes.
The Irish Funds Industry Association says the agreement on the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive will introduce the opportunity to passport Irish qualifying investor funds throughout Europe.
The Council of the European Union announced last Wednesday (20 October) that it had “set out its position with a view to concluding negotiations with the European Parliament on a draft directive introducing harmonised EU rules for entities engaged in the management of hedge funds and other alternative investment funds”.
The IFIA says the Irish regulatory regime already includes many of the requirements which are being suggested at a European level. Irish funds, for example, are already required to have a trustee/depositary and are administered and valued by entities already authorised and supervised by the Central Bank of Ireland.
In addition, the recent regulatory enhancements to Irish funds have converged the investor criteria for QIFs to those of Mifid and the proposed AIFM Directive. Following a period of consideration and engagement the Central Bank of Ireland has issued revised notices and guidance notes which further enhance the regulatory environment for Irish Investment funds and provide clarity and efficiency to the QIF product structure.
Significant changes, detailed by the Central Bank, include a reduction in the minimum initial subscription amount from EUR250,000 to EUR100,000 and clearer guidance with regard to promoter approval/application forms (it has now been clarified that extensions to the initial offer period need only be submitted to the Central Bank on an annual basis).