UK Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFMs) that may need early full-scope authorisation in order to continue their operations in other EEA jurisdictions immediately following transposition of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) must submit responses to the FSA’s survey by 28 March 2013 if they wish to have their applications for authorisation processed in time.

The AIFMD comes into force across the EEA on 22 July 2013, and provides for a 12-month transitional period in respect of firms that already manage Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) before 22 July 2013. By the end of that 12-month period, the firms must be AIFMD-compliant and have submitted an application for authorisation or registration to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The population of firms that will require FCA permission to carry out the new activity of “managing an AIF” – as described in HM Treasury’s consultation - is expected to include firms that are currently authorised under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA), and a small number of firms that are not currently authorised.

However, although some EEA jurisdictions may allow management and marketing without a passport, and access to their national private placement regime, prior to AIFM authorisation during the transition year, this is not yet certain. Accordingly, the FSA expects that a number of UK firms currently operating within the EEA may need to be authorised under AIFMD from 22 July 2013 in order to continue management activities and marketing of their AIFs in those countries using the AIFMD passport, and/or to access national private placement regimes for the marketing of their non-EEA AIFs.

The FSA and the Treasury are exploring how best to ensure that UK firms are able to continue doing business with minimal disruption, including accepting applications for authorisation before 22 July 2013. The purpose of the survey is to enable the regulator to identify the number and location details of management and marketing passports that will be required immediately following transposition of the AIFMD for UK AIFMs that will require full scope authorisation. There is a useful overview of the regulatory survey in the FSA’s explanatory slides.

Responses to the survey will not be considered an application for authorisation or registration as an AIFM, or as a formal part of an application process. However, firms that do not respond to the survey should not expect that the regulator will process their applications for management and marketing passports required immediately after transposition in time.