Esma recommends AIFMD passport extension for second time

Switzerland and Guernsey are among countries that have again been recommended for the right to ‘passport’ their alternative funds to EU investors. The European Securities and Markets Authority (Esma) originally said last year there were no obstacles for the two jurisdictions, along with Jersey, to gain the passport, but the European Commission wanted more details. Jersey has also gained approval from Esma – as have Canada and Japan. The approval essentially means the alternative investment fund regimes of the non-EU jurisdictions are equivalent to the EU’s own standards under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD). Last July, when Esma approved Guernsey, Jersey and Switzerland, the European Commission deferred a decision and asked Esma for more information on other countries – including the US and Hong Kong – and further details on regulatory regimes and expected fund flows. Esma’s recommendation that the first five countries get the passport still has to gain approval from the Commission, the European Parliament and European Council. Lyndon Trott, Guernsey Finance chairman and Guernsey’s deputy chief minister, said: “While there is still a further administrative stage of the process to go through, this is a positive and encouraging development for Guernsey as a centre of excellence for private equity and fund administration. These are businesses that have real substance on the island and form an important part of our economy.” Other countries are still being considered for passport approval. The Alternative Investment Management Association has previously said more jurisdictions outside the EU should be considered. ©2016 funds europe

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