Private equity fund managers based in Ireland can now apply to become authorized under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFM) directive.
The popular fund domicile's securities regulator, the Central Bank of Ireland, is the first EU state to issue application forms and detailed rules for GPs to become authorized under the directive. Forms can be found on the bank's website.
The Irish Funds Industry Association’s (IFIA) chief executive, Pat Lardner, welcomed the news and said in a statement that “allowing managers to ‘go live’ with applications for AIFMs” will help with the “great deal of pent-up demand” for authorization under the directive.
However, before fund managers race to Ireland to become authorized under the directive, the domicile said it can only accept applications, and not yet authorize funds for operation. The domicile will need to first sign a cooperation agreement with the EU before it can formally grant authorizations.
Last week a briefing from the European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (EVCA) noted that only Brazil and Switzerland have so far signed such an agreement. But the EVCA did stress that the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), who has been tasked with centralizing the signing of the agreement, has put signing agreements to the top of its agenda.
The Central Bank of Ireland also published an AIF Rulebook and Q&A document providing information on the structures and processes that are AIFM-compliant which can be viewed here.