AIFMD roundtable: Uncertainty rules

Despite the AIFMD taking effect in July, many GPs are still in the dark about what it takes to solicit capital on the continent.  



John Morgan
Pantheon Ventures
Morgan is a partner at Pantheon Ventures responsible for global legal and compliance matters. He has a particular focus on fund structuring.

Ben Robins
Jersey Funds Association
Robins is the chairman of the Jersey Funds Association and also a corporate partner for offshore law firm Mourant Ozannes. He has headed the firm’s global funds practice area since 2008.

David Bailey
Bailey is group head of marketing, communications and product development at Augentius. He was previously funds product manager at Gulf International Bank.

Ian McCarthy
Deutsche Bank
McCarthy is the head of trustee services at Deutsche Bank, based in the firm’s Dublin office. He has expert knowledge of UCITS regulations, the AIFMD and compliance monitoring.


After five years of rulemaking, the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) finally became European law on July 22. But although some in the private equity world were expecting a fundamental shake-up in the way the industry conducts business post-implementation, there has been less upheaval than originally expected.

In fact, the deadline was something of a false dawn – since many European member states opted to give fund managers a one-year grace period to comply with the directive. Non-EU managers can also remain outside the directive’s scope until as late as 2018 – the time when EU regulators will decide if all fund managers marketing in Europe must fall under the AIFMD regime, or if they can continue using individual EU sovereigns’ private placement regimes. And it won’t be until 2015 that non-EU fund managers will have access to a pan-EU marketing passport, awarded to GPs who reach full AIFMD-compliance.

Nonetheless, the end of that grace period is not far away. And firms still have many questions about what it means to comply with the directive – not least, how to find a depositary for their funds, whether nearby offshore domiciles offer safe haven from the new regulations, and what LPs think about fund managers that don’t wear an AIFMD compliance badge of honor.

To help answer those questions, PE Manager and its sister title Private Equity International put together a roundtable of four industry professionals: an offshore funds lawyer, an in-house private equity legal advisor, and two experts on depositaries (whose job it is to help GPs understand new AIFMD obligations related to the safekeeping of client assets). The discussion took place in late October, at the London office of Deutsche Bank.