With just a few weeks to go until 22 July 2013, the date upon which the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (the "Directive") must be implemented in all EEA Member States*, the cooperation agreement between Jersey and the competent authorities of EEA Member States was agreed by ESMA's Board of Supervisors on 22 May 2013.
While ESMA has negotiated the cooperation agreement centrally, it must be signed by each EEA securities regulator and the relevant non-EEA authority, since the supervision of Alternative Investment Fund Managers ("AIFMs") lies with the national securities regulator.
The signing of the cooperation agreement is one of the conditions for the marketing in EEA Member States of Alternative Investment Funds ("AIFs") managed by non-EEA AIFMs and for EEA AIFMs to manage or market non-EEA AIFs, pursuant to Chapter VII of the Directive. The cooperation agreement establishes the framework for consultation, cooperation and exchange of information for supervisory and enforcement purposes between EEA competent authorities and third country supervisory authorities.
Regarded as the final piece in the jigsaw puzzle which will pave the way for Jersey AIFs to be marketed in the EEA pursuant to EEA Member States' national private placement rules and, in due course, pursuant to a European-wide marketing passport, the approval of the cooperation agreement is welcome news for Jersey and confirms access to European capital by Jersey AIFs and AIFMs after 22 July this year.
Jersey has already implemented the necessary legislation for the authorisation and supervision of Jersey AIFs and AIFMs. The Alternative Investment Funds (Jersey) Regulations 2012 can be viewed here, and the Financial Services (Amendment of Law) (No.4) (Jersey) Regulations 2012 can be viewed here. The new codes of practice which will apply to these entities are being finalised, with a view to enabling applications for authorisation to commence during the course of June.
For further information, please contact Martin Paul or Richard Le Liard.
*It is expected that Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway (the non-EU EEA Member States) will also implement the Directive.