Subsequent to the announcement by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) on 19 July 2016 - summarised in our article on ESMA passporting - the BVI has published the Securities and Investment Business (AIFMD) Regulations 2016 on 29 September 2016 (the Regulations).

Whilst not yet in force, the Regulations work towards establishing an “opt-in” regulatory regime for the BVI which is consistent with the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) and the general domestic statutory framework. This new regime will be of particular interest to managers and funds (both open and closed-end) that are looking to market directly to European based investors and further enhance the jurisdiction’s opportunity to benefit from the passporting regime set out in the AIFMD. Funds and investment managers that “opt-in” to the relevant regime will be required to comply with certain obligations that are imposed by the Regulations to ensure that they meet equivalent standards set by ESMA in the EU.

It should be highlighted that it is an entirely optional regime and therefore will not affect the remainder of the fund vehicles that are domiciled in the BVI who do not elect to “opt-in”.

The “opt-in” regime will also ensure that the BVI is well positioned to receive a favourable recommendation from ESMA following its assessment on whether an AIFMD passport should be made available to alternative investment fund managers from outside the EU.