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AfricaMoney | August 19, 2017

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Mauritius’ FSC hosts first update for EU directive on alternative investment funds

Mauritius’ FSC hosts first update for EU directive on alternative investment funds

Reinforcing the island economy’s status as a regional financial hub, Mauritius’ FSC hosted the premier industry update for the EU directive on alternative investment funds, the AIFMD, which came in force on July 22, 2013, and is already re-shaping the alternative investment fund industry in Europe and beyond. (Image: Cecilia Samoisi)

Celebrating more than a year since it came into force, the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) held its first industry update yesterday at the Financial Services Commission (FSC) house at Ebene.

With over 100 people attending the premier event, the forum served as a golden opportunity to take stock of what has been achieved so far, since the inception of the AIFMD in July 22, 2013, and what remains to be achieved.

“In 2013, 23 EU Member States had signed the MoU together with the FSC, allowing funds in Mauritius the opportunity to start the process of registering with relevant EU/EEA securities regulators in these jurisdictions,” said FSC CEO Clairette Ah-Hen, in her opening address.

As a European Union directive, it is widely believed in financial circles that the AIFMD will have a significant re-shaping effect on the alternative investment fund industry in Europe and beyond.

“In 2014, FSC Mauritius signed a MoU with Gilbratar FSC under the AIFMD, we have also initiated talks with Germany in view of a possible signing of the MoU and are targeting Italy and Spain as well,” she added.

David Bailey, Group Head of Marketing and Communications at Augentius, which is one of the world’s largest independent private equity and real estate administrators (www.augentius.com), was the guest speaker at the event.

He touched upon the various changes occurring on the EU fund management market, making it clear that radical changes are presently occurring on the European market, where from now on the regulators themselves are increasingly being regulated.

“With the ESMA being created, a complete change has occurred on the European market where regulators are regulated and are hence taking their role more seriously than in the past,” he explained.

Incidentally, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is an EU financial regulatory institution, which came into existence in January 2011, replacing the Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR), in an effort to create an EU-wide financial markets “watchdog”.

Bailey also pointed out that any manager who is considering raising money from EU must seriously mull over it and do thorough research for at least six months before kick-starting the process, due to the regulations and risks involved.

“Investors need to be very careful. Attitudes have changed and people need to take time to think over it and also turn to lawyers for sound advice before they proceed with actual investments,” David Bailey added.

He also noted that fund managing reporting is gaining increasing currency in the EU market, and was likely to be on the upswing this year.

Finally, he noted that the United Kingdom is one of the best European centers for fund management, and is a very accessible market with simple procedures which take on an average, two to three days to be approved.

- By Cecilia Samoisi

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