ESMA called on to complete non-EU AIFMD passport reviews

The European Securities and Markets Authority has come under pressure to complete its assessment on whether nine countries, including the US, Singapore and Hong Kong, should get access to the marketing ‘passport’ under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD).

Portfolio Adviser


ESMA recommended that Guernsey, Jersey and Switzerland be given access to the AIFMD passport scheme last July, but said then it needed more time to complete the assessment for the US, Singapore and Hong Kong. It revealed in October it was also assessing a second wave of six countries for acceptance into the scheme

Olivier Guersent, director general at the EU Commission’s financial services division, wrote to ESMA in December urging it to complete by 30 June this year the assessments of the three outstanding countries and for the second wave of nations – Japan, Canada, Isle of Man, Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Australia.

ESMA released Guersent’s letter on its website on Tuesday.

Once ESMA’s assessment is completed and if it recommends all the countries be accepted this must still be approved by the EU Commission, Parliament and Council.

If that happens all nine nations plus the three already accepted would be able to offer an AIFMD passport to managers of alternative investment funds (AIFs) in their countries, granting access to a much wider investor base for their products.

Typically AIFs include hedge funds, private equity funds, retail investment funds, investment companies and real estate funds.

Second opinion

In releasing Guersent’s letter, ESMA also noted that the EC had also accepted its suggestion that it produce another opinion on the functioning of the EU passport and on the functioning of the current system of national private placement regimes (NPPRs).

“The EC agrees with ESMA’s suggestion that it produce another opinion on the functioning of the EU passport and NPPRs once the AIFMD has been fully transposed in all the EU and there is more experience on the functioning of this framework.”

ESMA had suggested it should produce another opinion because the delay in implementing the AIFMD, together with the delay in the transposition of the Directive in some member states had made it difficult to provide a definitive assessment by July 2015, the initial legislative deadline.



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