The ICAV Bill has become the ICAV Act, having been signed into law by the Irish President.
The ICAV Act permits the establishment of a new form of Irish corporate vehicle for alternative investment funds and UCITS alike. This new vehicle enjoys significant advantages over the existing investment company, currently the most popular corporate vehicle for Irish collective investment schemes. In particular, the ICAV is not subject to those aspects of company law which are irrelevant or inappropriate for collective investment schemes. Nor is it subject to the risk-spreading/diversification requirements currently applicable to investment companies. In addition, it is eligible to check the box for US taxation purposes.
Significantly, the ICAV Act permits an existing Irish investment company to convert to an ICAV while a fund domiciled outside of Ireland is able to migrate to Ireland as an ICAV by way of continuation.
We anticipate that the ICAV Act will be commenced by ministerial enactment very shortly. On 6 March 2015, the Central Bank published an ICAV information note which sets out a number of queries which the Central Bank thinks are likely to arise in relation to ICAVs. According to that note, the Central Bank will begin accepting applications for registration of ICAVs on 16 March 2015 and it will issue a Registration Order for a new ICAV within two weeks from the date of receipt of a complete application for registration.