BFSB today partnered with the Ministry of Financial Services, the Securities Commission of the Bahamas (SCB) and corporate sponsor Ernst & Young to promote a better understanding of the European Union’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD). E&Y Executive Director (New York) John Sampson addressed members and guests on the impact and timelines of the initiative. He provided a comprehensive overview of the Directive, including key questions and areas of concern, the opportunities and challenges, AIFMD in different EU countries, and generally focussing on the implementation approach and regulatory reporting.

SCB Legal Counsel Mechelle Martinborough pointed out that AIFMD allows for non-EU Fund managers to manage and market AIFs provide they comply with the specific rules and requirements as outlined in the Directive. And, a core component to the success of the Directive is the principle of cooperation amongst Regulators. In this connection, in July last year the SCB had signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with counterpart securities regulators in the European Union and the European Economic Area (EEA) that effectively allowed Bahamas based fund managers to continue to market or perform fund management activities for AIFS in EU and EEA markets on an interim basis. These agreements were signed with 23 of the 31 EU countries, with expectations that MoUs will be signed with the remaining eight before the end of the year. Ms. Martinborough’s presentation included an overview of the scope of cooperation, cross border onsite visits, requests for assistance, cooperation on enforcement, etc. She also provided a comparative analysis of the provisions of the EU/EEA MoUs and IOSCO’s MMoU.

The EU’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) entered into force on 22 July 2013. AIFMD essentially introduces “European authorisation and conduct of business” requirements and covers those responsible for the portfolio or risk management of all types of alternative investment funds (AIFs) – including hedge funds and private equity funds. It introduces a harmonised regime for the promotion of such funds to professional investors.

The purpose of today’s Seminar was to look at next steps as the various phases of AIFMD are rolled out.

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