'Third countries' get EU green light

Thirty-four securities regulators including those in the US and Channel Islands have signed agreements enabling firms in those jurisdictions to market their funds in Europe post-AIFM implementation.

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has revealed cooperation agreements with 34 global securities regulators on behalf of the EU member states. 

The signing of these agreements ends the marketing uncertainty for private equity firms in these non-EU jurisdictions. These firms would not have been able to market their funds in Europe if their country’s regulator failed to sign such an agreement before 22 July, the implementation date of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFM) directive.

Non-EU firms will now be permitted to solicit local professional investors in Europe using a country’s national private placement regime.

The cooperation agreements, signed on 22 May, take the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoUs will give both EU and non-EU regulators permission to supervise fund managers that operate on a cross-border basis both within and outside the EU. National regulators will also share information, conduct on-site visits and assist one another in enforcing securities laws. 

The jurisdictions that have signed up are: the US, Canada, Brazil, India, Switzerland, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Tanzania, Kenya, Cayman Islands, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Isle of Man, Mauritius, Albania, Guernsey, Jersey, Malaysia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Pakistan and Thailand.

ESMA’s chairman, Steven Maijoor, said in statement the signing of the agreements marked a “significant step” in the implementation of the AIFM directive.