French GPs lining up for AIFMD authorization

Over a dozen French GPs are already authorized under the new pan-EU funds regime, with more seeking access, the French securities regulator tells PE Manager.

GPs are keen for French regulator the L’Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) to authorize them under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD), PE Manager has learned.

“We discovered that there are lots [of fund managers] who want to opt in to the directive, even if they fall below its threshold,” said Xavier Parain, deputy executive director of AMF’s asset management division.

Parain says the AMF is constantly working on new authorizations and has so far authorized 15 fund managers under the AIFMD, “significantly more” than other countries. In comparison, UK’s securities regulator the Financial Conduct Authority authorized three fund managers under the directive: Doughty Hanson, SL Capital and BridgePoint.

The AMF can authorize fund managers under the AIFMD “very quickly too”, said Parain, noting that French fund managers already authorized under France’s old regulations already meet many of the directive’s requirements. GPs operating in France are required to meet much of the UCITS directive (the EU directive covering open-ended funds).

According to Parain, the similarities between the French UCITS regime and it's implementation of the AIFMD is why the AMF is charging €2000 annual fees for access to a pan-EU marketing passport under the AIFMD. Last week PE Manager exclusively revealed GPs authorized under the AIFMD will be hit with marketing fees when entering some European countries, including France.

“Our [AMF’s] view was to apply the same rules on the same type of sectors. These are purely administrative fees. It exists on UCITS and will also exist in other countries,” said Parain.