European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has recommended that both Guernsey and Jersey should be included in the first wave of 'third (ie non-EU) countries' whose managers can seek authorisation for a passport to market their alternative investment funds (AIF) to professional investors throughout EU Member States. This announcement means that, should ESMA’s recommendation be approved by the EU Commission, Parliament and Council, Guernsey and Jersey will be able to offer a broad range of marketing and organisational options to alternative fund managers, whether they are seeking to serve European or global investors.

Since the implementation of AIFMD, many Guernsey and Jersey managers have been successfully marketing their funds to EU professional investors via EU national private placement regimes, in compliance with AIFMD's reporting and transparency requirements. With the future possibility of EU-wide passport marketing (where Guernsey and Jersey managers operate in full compliance with AIFMD) as well as the continued ability to market to non-EU investors with no AIFMD implications at all, Guernsey and Jersey now find themselves in an enviable position as alternative fund domiciles, offering fund managers an unusually flexible range of operational choices, depending on their marketing strategy.