The Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (the “AIFMD”) is due to be implemented by Member States at a national level by 22 July 2013 and will govern many aspects of the way in which most investment fund managers established in the EU (other than those that exclusively manage UCITS) (“AIFMs”) run and structure their businesses and the services they provide. The AIFMD will also impact the ability of AIFMs established outside of the EU to market those of their funds that are non-UCITS funds (“AIFs”) to investors in the EU.

For the last two months the industry has waited for the adoption of the European Commission’s  ‘Level II’ regulation (“Level II”). Level II is one of the key ingredients necessary for a manager who will be characterised as an AIFM (or its group) to plan effectively for implementation (as it will provide greater detail than the Level 1 Directive, and flesh out some of the high level provisions set out in Level 1). The second key ingredient, for those AIFMs in the UK, is FSA guidance and in particular its policy statement on how the Financial Conduct Authority (the “FCA”), once established, will effect implementation in the UK.

The wait for Level II has proved long, open-ended and unpredictable and the FSA has helpfully recognised the need for its views to be heard as the shadow cast by 22 July 2013 looms ever larger. It has therefore published the precursor to its eventual policy statement, CP 12/32 (the “Consultation Paper”).

Despite many of the positions revealed in the Consultation Paper being subject to Level II and despite it being only Part 1 of 2 intended parts, the Consultation Paper gives a useful sense of the direction in which the FSA is moving and of how the FCA will approach implementation.  While not definitive, the Consultation Paper should prove a useful aid in planning for change.

Our briefing simply seeks to pick out what we consider to be the key points that those responsible for implementing the AIFMD in their respective organisations may find most instructive. For a more comprehensive analysis of the AIFMD, and its implications for your business, please click here.