The Guernsey Financial Services Commission (“GFSC”) has announced today that is has signed 24 bi-lateral co-operation agreements with the securities regulators in the following EU member states pursuant to the requirements of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (Directive 2011/61/EU) (“AIFM Directive”):

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg,  Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Sweden, The United Kingdom  

Co-operation agreements have also been signed by the GFSC with the European Economic Area (EEA) countries of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

It appears that the only EU member states that have not signed co-operation agreements with the GFSC are Croatia (which became an EU member state on 1 July 2013), Italy, Slovenia and Spain.  

Now that the co-operation agreements have been signed with the majority of EU member states and EEA countries, from 22 July 2013 (being the date on which it is expected that the AIFM Directive will be transposed into EU member states’ national laws) Guernsey fund managers will be able to continue to market investment funds to professional investors in the EU countries that have signed co-operation agreements with the GFSC , subject to those countries’ domestic marketing rules, the additional requirements under the AIFM Directive and The AIFMD (Marketing) Rules, 2013 in Guernsey (click here for our Red Alert on the Guernsey Marketing Rules). 

It is reported that the key elements of the co-operation agreements include:

EU and Guernsey supervisors being able to supervise fund managers that operate on a cross border basis in the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the EU;

Co-operation between the authorities includes the exchange of information, cross-border onsite visits and assistance in the enforcement of the authorities’ respective regulatory laws;

EU authorities will be able to share relevant information received from the GFSC with any of the other EU authorities, the European Securities and Market Authority (ESMA) and the European Systemic Risk Board, provided appropriate safeguards apply;

The EU-Guernsey co-operation arrangements will be applicable from 22 July 2013; and

Marketing pursuant to the co-operation agreements will only be permitted to professional investors of alternative investment funds (in accordance with Article 42 of the AIFM Directive).