On 15 March, Steven Maijoor, Chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) gave the keynote speech at the EVCA Investors’ Forum. The majority of Maijoor’s speech focussed on the recent developments in relation to the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD).

Maijoor explained that ESMA are hopeful that the level 2 implementing measures that are currently being developed by the European Commission will closely reflect the recommendations made in the technical advice ESMA submitted to the European Commission in November 2011.

The speech touched on the third country framework for non-EU entities and referred to this as being the most complex aspect of the AIFMD. ESMA has been heavily involved with the development of the co-operation agreements that are to be put in place between non-EU and EU authorities. These will be used to develop model Memoranda of Understanding, underpinning the basis of any relationships with non-EU entities.

Maijoor commented that ESMA’s involvement in this process is to the benefit of the non-EU authorities, who will have a single point of contact for the whole of the European Union, rather than having to deal with 27 individual authorities. Equally, from a European perspective ESMA’s involvement will help to ensure that a consistent approach is taken with all co-operation agreements across the European Union, therefore creating a level playing field.