Ireland is among the first European jurisdictions to fully implement the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (“AIFMD”) in advance of the 22 July 2013 deadline. Today, the Irish regulations transposing the AIFMD have been published on the Department of Finance website.
The European Communities (Alternative Investment Fund Managers) Regulations 2013 (the “AIFMD Regulations”), which were signed by the Minister for Finance on 16 July 2013, represent a faithful transposition of the AIFMD and do not impose additional or stricter requirements to those imposed by the AIFMD. The discretions afforded to Member States in the AIFMD have been availed of, including allowing alternative investment fund managers (“AIFM”) to market to retail investors in Ireland and the inclusion of an alternative category of eligible depositary (ie, entities subject to professional registration such as lawyers and notaries) for AIFs with no redemption rights exercisable in the first five years.
The Central Bank of Ireland (the “Central Bank”) has been accepting applications for the authorisation of AIFM since 15 May 2013, ensuring that Irish AIFMs are in a position to avail of a full European passport at the earliest possible opportunity. It was the first regulator in Europe to do this and, in order to support and apply the process in real terms, regulatory application forms, an AIF Rulebook and guidance through an AIFMD Q&A publication and a Q&A facility are already provided for by the Central Bank. The publication today of the AIFMD Regulations, which represents formal transposition of the AIFMD into national law ahead of the 22 July 2013 deadline, is a further indicator of Ireland’s advanced and forward-thinking approach to the pragmatic application of the AIFMD in this jurisdiction.
The AIFMD Regulations may be accessed here.