During September 2013 the Commission released the second part of the two planned consultations to facilitate the requirements of the European Union’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers (“the Directive or "AIFMD”) into the local regulatory regime, so as to enable regulated entities flexibility in their product strategy with respect to fund management and marketing business within the European Economic Area ("EEA") in which the Directive has been implemented. Although a European Union directive, AIFMD is also to be implemented in due course by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, therefore reference is made to the EEA.
Opt in Regime
The AIFMD Rules, 2013 (“the Rules”) have been approved by the Commissioners and together with the Forms GAIFM and DAIFM have, today, been placed on the Commission’s website with an effective date of 2 January 2014. The Rules enable Guernsey fund managers and depositaries to opt in to an AIFMD equivalent regime. Guernsey fund managers and depositaries who wish to be subject to the Rules will be able to apply to the Commission by using Form GAIFM and Form DAIFM. Once the Commission has considered the application, the Rules will be imposed as a condition on the licence of the respective fund manager or depositary.
At this stage it is a commercial decision as to whether or not Guernsey fund managers and depositaries wish to be subject to the Rules. Accordingly, Guernsey fund managers and depositaries should undertake detailed analysis of their business requirements before opting in to comply with the Rules. The Commission would encourage fund managers and depositaries to contact the Commission prior to submitting an application.
The Commission thanks everyone who took the opportunity to respond to the consultation paper on the Rules. A consultation feedback statement has been released detailing the main themes.
Guidance on the application of the Rules
Many respondents were happy to rely on guidance issued by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and EEA Member States, however several depositaries have requested that the Commission issue guidance on key topics such as outsourcing, cash monitoring and reconciliations. The Commission has commenced, and will continue to, work with the Guernsey investment fund industry in developing relevant guidance for the Bailiwick of Guernsey. In the meantime, the Commission has updated its FAQs page on AIFMD and will continue to provide updates by this medium.