The 'AIFMD Fund Services 2016' special report comprises nine separate articles listed below, these can be read individually or as a sequence.
Two of the most important considerations for any hedge fund manager under AIFMD are deciding on who to appoint as an external AIFM (or "Management Company") and also who to appoint as a depositary; the latter of which is discussed later in this report.
Regulatory reporting remains a pertinent issue for a lot of fund managers under AIFMD. One of the attractions of going with a fully outsourced AIFM, which can also provide sub-fund capabilities for those dipping their toe into Europe, is that the reporting and operational compliance function is taken care of.
For EU and non-EU managers, the ability to choose between AIFMD or UCITS regimes to bring a regulated fund product to market with minimal fuss is a compelling one. With its unique business model, ML Capital has proven to the marketplace that there are many ways to scale the walls of so-called "Fortress Europe".
One of the primary reasons for investment managers choosing to use regulatory hosted services such as those provided by Mirabella, part of the Cordium group, is because of the time it takes regulators to approve manager applications; sometimes up to nine months in the UK.
Heritage Depositary Company (UK) Limited (Heritage Depositary) operates what the FCA refers to as a `PE Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) depositary'. Whilst it is able to provide full depositary services to most AIF structures, Heritage's depositary services are focused on, but not limited to private equity, real estate, infrastructure, venture capital and esoteric alternative funds investing in both developed and emerging markets.
Under Article 21 of the AIFMD, any AIFM running an EU-based AIF is required to appoint a single full scope depositary to carry out four core duties: cash monitoring, safekeeping and verification of assets and general oversight of the AIF. For EU managers with experience of running UCITS funds alongside their offshore Cayman fund(s), this arrangement is a familiar one, but for AIFMs marketing non-EU AIFs into Europe, the concept of appointing a depositary is unfamiliar.
One of the biggest decisions for fund managers under AIFMD is whether or not to appoint an external AIFM. But as management companies, many of whom have experience supporting traditional managers under the UCITS framework, continue to espouse the virtues of outsourcing the ManCo function, alternative fund managers in different geographies are beginning to understand the benefits of going down this path.
Lawson Conner operates a specialist fund manager platform providing FCA license coverage as well as compliance and regulatory oversight on behalf of alternative fund managers. Over the last few years, the firm has seen a dramatic shift to ManCo structures as new managers, and, more importantly, institutional investors, appreciate the virtues of using an outsourced AIFM solution. By working with an established AIFM platform, emerging managers can focus on producing returns and managing their trading strategy.
Pacific Fund Systems is a global leader in supporting investment fund accounting and administration through its integrated share registry/fund accounting platform, PFS-PAXUS. With fund administrators under increasing pressure from AIFMs to provide a broader suite of regulatory reporting services – most notably Annex IV reporting under AIFMD – demand has grown for integrated systems that can house fund data on a single platform. This is precisely what PFS-PAXUS offers, avoiding the need for reliance on multiple systems by utilising a single database infrastructure to deliver greater workflow efficiencies, reduced risk, and more timely valuations.