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    ALFI News Digest may 11, 2016    
          in this edition      
    1. Headlines
2. News from ALFI's Asia Rep Office
3. Upcoming ALFI events
4. Past ALFI events
5. Professional training
     
 
 

1.

Headlines

ALFI Comments on treaty residence of pension funds

ALFI has taken note of the OECD BEPS Action 6 Final Report issued on 5 October 2015 “Preventing the Granting of Treaty Benefits in Inappropriate Circumstances”. The OECD Final Report on Action 6 provided that additional work was needed to ensure that a pension fund should be considered to be a resident of the State in which it is constituted, regardless of whether that pension fund benefits from a limited or a complete exemption from taxation in that State.

ALFI welcomes the recognition of the importance of ensuring treaty entitlement for pension funds and has responded to the OECD Discussion Draft on the proposed changes to the OECD Model Tax Convention concerning the treaty residence of Pension Funds issued on 29 February 2016 as a follow-up of the work on Action 6.

You may access ALFI’s response here.

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ALFI gives its views on the treaty entitlement of non-CIV funds

ALFI has taken note of the OECD BEPS Action 6 Final Report issued on 5 October 2015: “Preventing the Granting of Treaty Benefits in Inappropriate Circumstances” indicating that additional work was needed in the area of treaty entitlement of non-CIV Funds. On 24 March 2016, the OECD issued a Public Discussion Draft on the Treaty Entitlement of Non-CIV Funds seeking feedback from stakeholders.

In its response, ALFI states that, in order to avoid the current legal uncertainty surrounding the definition of a CIV and a non-CIV funds, the OECD should provide for a more detailed definition of the various terms used in this context, and in particular, of the notion of “widely distributed” or “widely held”.

ALFI has also reiterated that CIVs set up as UCITS or non-CIVS with similar characteristics should automatically qualify as resident under article 1 of the OECD Model Tax Convention as well as for the LOB rule. ALFI believes that a derivative benefits rule may also be an appropriate means to ensure that treaty benefits are appropriately granted.

ALFI is of the opinion that CIVs are principally set up for genuine commercial reasons and that, given their economic characteristics, it is reasonable to conclude that CIVs cannot be effectively used for treaty shopping. We therefore believe that the OECD should allow Member States to consider that all EU investment funds which are widely held, i.e. UCITS and similar non-CIVs, shall not be considered as creating opportunities for treaty shopping.

You may access ALFI’s response here.

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ALFI issued Spring Mag 2016

ALFI has issued its ALFI Spring Mag 2016, which brings forward and deepens key topics addressed at this year’s Spring Conference, looks into factors that drive market trends and how those dynamics ultimately affect the investment fund business. 

Access the magazine here.

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ALFI comments on long-term and sustainable investment

ALFI has responded to the European Commission’s public consultation on long-term and sustainable investment. ALFI’s answers support the submission of the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA).

(Read the ALFI responses)

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UCITS V bill of law adopted

On 21 April 2016, the Luxembourg Parliament (Chambre des Députés) adopted the bill of law No 6845 transposing Directive 2014/91/EU of 23 July 2014 (“UCITS V”) into Luxembourg law and amending the law of 17 December 2010 concerning undertakings for collective investment. The law will enter into force on the first day of the month following its publication in the official journal.

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UCITS V: CSSF clarifies timing for amending legal documentation

On 2 March 2016, the CSSF issued Press Release 16/10 dealing inter alia with: (i) Applicable provisions of UCITS V (ii) Timing for amending legal documentation (iii) Various depositary bank aspects as per CSSF Circular 2014/587 and (iv) Special considerations in relation to UCIs established under part II of the Law of 17 December 2010.

The following provisions are of particular interest:

  • It is indicated that ESMA Guidelines on Sound Remuneration Policies for UCITS will enter into force as from 1 January 2017. It is expected that these Guidelines will be published by the end of March 2016.
  • The CSSF will put in place a fast track procedure for changes to prospectuses of UCITS funds, but only to the extent that these changes are limited to language on remuneration policies and on a description of depositary aspects.
  • In the coming months, the CSSF will submit a questionnaire to management companies to obtain information on how management companies intend to comply with requirements introduced by UCITS V on remuneration policies.

Click here for the text of the Press Release in English or in French.

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CSSF issues FAQ on identification/verification of identity through video chat

On 8 April 2016 the CSSF published an FAQ document on video identification and verification of identity of customers by professionals of the financial sector. Among other things, the FAQ gives details as to who can perform the video identification, who is responsible for respecting the professional obligations as required by Luxembourg AML/CTF regulations in this context, who can be identified/verified through online video conference, and in what circumstances such identification process is not possible. Conditions to perform video identification in terms of internal procedures, data quality and security measures to be taken in this regard are also addressed.

To access the FAQ please click here.

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Luxembourg Tax Authorities released CRS FAQ

On 29 April 2016, the Luxembourg Tax Authorities released FAQs in relation to the Luxembourg law dated 18 December 2015 on the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS” or “CRS law”) and have accordingly updated their website on automatic exchange of information. Click here to access the relevant website page (in French).

Amongst others, FAQs indicate that the United States of America has been included in the list of Participating Jurisdictions (published last March 2016 through a Grand Ducal Decree) on the basis of the IGA signed with Luxembourg related to exchange of information under FATCA. FAQs also indicate that for both due diligence and reporting purposes under CRS, the only “appropriate reference period” is the calendar year. Finally, under its point 2.3, FAQs clarify that investors in an investment fund are assimilated and should be treated as clients in the context of an “investment entity” as defined in Annex I, section VIII, point A. 6)  of CRS law.

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CRS: Grand-Ducal Decree lists “Excluded Accounts” and “Participating Jurisdictions”

A Grand Ducal Decree dated 15 March 2016 has been passed in application of article 2, paragraph 4 of the Luxembourg law dated 18 December 2015 on the Common Reporting Standard (the Luxembourg CRS Law). It provides for :

  1. the list of “Excluded accounts” (“Comptes Exclus”) as defined in Appendix I, section VIII, point C 17) g) to the Luxembourg CRS Law. This is the same list of accounts which are to be treated as Excluded Accounts for the purposes of subparagraph C.17(g) of Section VIII of Annex I of Council Directive 2011/16/EU. Such list has been provided by each EU Member State to the European Commission on 31 July 2015 and has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union dated 31 October 2015 (2015/C 362/07);
  2. the list of “Participating Jurisdictions” (“Juridictions partenaires”) as defined in Appendix I, section VIII, point D 5) to the Luxembourg CRS Law. Participating Jurisdictions may be either be EU Member States or jurisdictions with which Luxembourg or the EU have signed an agreement providing that these jurisdictions will communicate the pre-defined information. It is to be noted that the United States have been included by Luxembourg in this list of Participating Jurisdictions.

According to Article 2 paragraph 4 of the Luxembourg CRS Law, an additional Grand Ducal Decree providing the list of Reporting Jurisdictions (“Juridictions soumises à déclaration”) as defined in Appendix I, section VIII, point D 4) to the Luxembourg CRS Law should also be passed and is expected at a later stage. Reporting Jurisdictions may either be an EU Member State or a jurisdiction for which, by virtue of an agreement, Luxembourg has the obligation to provide the pre-defined information.

Click here to access the text of the Grand Ducal Decree.

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Updated FAQ on the immobilisation of bearer shares and units

On 25 April 2016, the Luxembourg Caisse de Consignation released an updated version of its Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Law of 28 July 2014 on the immobilisation of bearer shares and bearer units. In particular, question 8 which details the applicable procedure to request the issuance of a certificate confirming that the shares presented are not subject to stops or forfeiture has been amended. Going forward, the certificate may be issued (i) by the issuer of the bearer securities or (ii) by the financial agent of the bearer securities in Luxembourg or (iii) by the Registering Institution of Stops on Bearer Securities. Members of ABBL and ALFI will have access to a free and unofficial translation in English and in German shortly.

In addition, the Luxembourg Caisse de Consignation published a standard form to be used in the above context. Click here to access this form (in French only).

For additional information, you may also wish to refer to the text of law of 28 July 2014 in French or in English, as well as to the FAQs published by the CSSF on 5 May 2015. You may also wish to refer to the previous special newsflash of ALFI on 15 February 2016.

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Publication procedure for companies and associations about to be reformed

The Luxembourg Register of Commerce and Companies (RCSL) issued Circular 16/01 on 24 March outlining the main features of the reform of the publication procedure for companies and associations. These changes are contained in Draft Bill of Law N° 6624 which has been adopted by the Luxembourg Parliament on 10 May. Among others, the reform includes the replacement of the Memorial C by a new electronic platform of central publication and the obligation for FCPs to register with the RCSL as from June 1, 2016.

The Law foresees that management companies of common funds created before that date will have a six-month transitional period to register the funds they manage. Such registration will require the provision of the latest version of the management regulations of the funds and of a specific registration form.

Click here to access the RCSL Circular.

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Taxe d’Abonnement: Bill of Law on Electronic Filing of Tax Returns

On 3 March 2016, a Bill of Law providing for an electronic filing of tax returns of the “taxe d’abonnement” (subscription tax) was submitted to Parliament. The Law introduces an obligation for all investment funds to electronically file tax returns as from 1 January 2018. It is anticipated that the Luxembourg Indirect Tax Administration (“Administration de l’Enregistrement et des Domaines”) will permit funds and their service providers to voluntarily opt for an electronic filing a year in advance, i.e. already as from 1 January 2017. ALFI will discuss practical and operational details of the electronic filing with the Indirect Tax Administration and will inform its members accordingly.

Click here for the text of the bill of law (in French).

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CSSF publishes FATF update

On 25 February, CSSF Circular 16/634 was issued, drawing the attention of all supervised persons and entities to the latest statement by the FATF which identifies jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies in their frameworks to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism and proliferation. The circular can be accessed here.

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Luxembourg Tax Authorities update exchange of information format under FATCA

On 18 February 2016, the Luxembourg Tax Authorities (“Administration des Contributions Directes”) issued a new Circular ECHA n. 3bis providing amendments and further clarifications to Circular ECHA n. 3 issued on 31 July 2015 on the definition of the format applicable to exchange of information between Luxembourg and the United States of America under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”).

On the same date, the Luxembourg Tax Authorities also issued a consolidated version of Circular ECHA n. 3 which replaces Circular ECHA n° 3 of July 2015. The consolidated version includes 3 appendices:

  • Appendix 1: the description of all data fields of the file to be sent for the purpose of exchanging information under FATCA - version 1.2;
  • Appendix 2: the description of FATCA correction mechanisms used by Luxembourg Tax Authorities - version 1.0;
  • Appendix 3: the description of all data fields of the return status file for FATCA purposes - version 0.).

Click here to access the text of Circulars ECHA n. 3bis and ECHA n. 3 consolidated and its appendices.

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LuxFLAG labels Central American Timber Fund and GLS Alternative Investments-Mikrofinanzfonds

The Luxembourg Fund Labelling Agency LuxFLAG has granted for the first time the LuxFLAG Environment Label to the Central American Timber Fund and the LuxFLAG Microfinance Label to the GLS Alternative Investments-Mikrofinanzfonds with effect from April 2016.

Further to this, LuxFLAG renewed the Microfinance Label for the following 14 Microfinance Investment Vehicles (MIV) as of April 2016:

Dual Return Fund-Vision Microfinance, Fefisol, EU Microfinance Platform, KCD III – Universal, Luxembourg Microfinance and Development Fund, Regional MSME Investment Fund for Sub-Saharan Africa SA, responsAbility Global Microfinance Fund, responsAbility SICAV (Lux) - Mikrofinanz-Fonds, responsAbility SICAV (Lux) - Microfinance Leaders, responsAbility SICAV (Lux)- Financial inclusion fund, Rural Impulse Fund S.A.SICAV-SIF, Rural Impulse Fund II S.A. SICAV-SIF, SEB Microfinance Fund and The European Fund for Southeast Europe SA, SICAV-SIF.

Altogether, LuxFLAG has issued 45 investment fund Labels worth over USD 11.6 billion of assets under management as of April 2016:

27 investment funds representing approximately USD 5.9 bn in AuM have been granted the use of the LuxFLAG Microfinance Label.

9 investment funds representing approximately USD 2.8 bn in AuM have been granted the use of the LuxFLAG Environment Label.

9 investment funds representing approximately USD 2.9 bn in AuM have been granted the use of the LuxFLAG ESG Label.

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UCITS equity funds with strong outflows due to stock market sell-off

The stock market sell-off in early 2016 caused UCITS equity funds to suffer net outflows of EUR 4 billion in February (or 0.14 percent of total UCITS equity fund assets), down from net inflows of EUR 3 billion in January, the European Fund and Asset management Association EFAMA reports. Overall, UCITS and AIF recorded positive net sales of EUR 8 billion in February.  This confirms that many investors are willing to hold to their investment positions in periods of market stress. 

The main developments in February 2016 can be summarized as follows: 

Net outflows from UCITS slowed to EUR 0.4 billion, compared to outflows of EUR 15 billion in January.  The decrease in net outflows can be attributed to an increase in money market fund net sales. Long-term UCITS (UCITS excluding money market funds) registered a slowdown in net outflows, decreasing from outflows of EUR 14 billion in January to outflows of EUR 9 billion in February. Net outflows from bond funds slowed from EUR 15 billion in January to outflows of EUR 6 billion in February. Multi-asset funds finished the quarter with net sales of EUR 1 billion, up from net outflows of EUR 2 billion in January.

UCITS money market funds experienced a reversal in flows, increasing from net outflows of EUR 1 billion in January to net inflows of EUR 9 billion in February. Total AIF registered net inflows of EUR 8.9 billion in February, down from EUR 15.6 billion in January.

Net assets of UCITS ended the month at EUR 7,891 billion, representing a decrease of 0.4 percent in net assets since January. AIF net assets increased 0.1 percent to EUR 5,035 since end February. Overall, total net assets of the European investment fund industry decreased 0.2 percent since January to stand at EUR 12,926 billion at end February 2016.  

(Read more)

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ESAs release RTS on KID PRIIPs

On 7 April 2016, the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) issued proposed Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) on Key Information Documents (KIDs) for Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products (PRIIPs).

The proposed KIDs are meant to provide retail investors for the first time across the EU with simple and comparable information on investment products in the banking, insurance and securities sectors. A 3-page document should increase the transparency and comparability of information about the risks, performance and costs of these products, and the new rules should contribute to enhancing the confidence and strengthening the protection of EU consumers of banking, insurance and securities products. 

The EU Commission has now officially three months to adopt the proposed RTS. Afterwards, and provided that the RTS are the same as the ones submitted by the ESAs, the Council of the EU and the EU Parliament will have for two months the possibility to object the standards before they are published. If needed, this period could be prolonged upon request by another month. It is currently expected that the RTS will be adopted and published before summer 2016.

ALFI and EFAMA participated in previous consultations and will continue to analyse and comment the proposed rules.

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Solvency II Delegated Regulation amended to mobilise private sector investment

The Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/467 of 30 September 2015, amending the Solvency II Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/35 regarding the calculation of regulatory capital requirements, entered into force on 2 April 2016. The amendments intend to mobilise private sector investment, which is a key objective of the so-called Investment Plan for Europe. They pertain among others to:

  • Infrastructure investments: the amendment sets up a specific treatment in the solvency capital requirements for infrastructure investments (being investments in special purpose entities that own, finance, develop or operate infrastructure assets that provide or support essential public services)
  • Investments in ELTIFs: the amending Regulation extends to ELTIFs the provisions in the Solvency II Delegated Regulation concerning the treatment of European venture capital funds and European social entrepreneurship funds.

In summary, these investments will benefit from the same capital charges under Solvency II as “equities traded on regulated markets”. Risk charges on unlisted equity investments in qualifying infrastructure projects have been reduced to 30%, compared to 49% for unlisted equities. Moreover, risk charges on debt investments in qualifying infrastructure projects have been reduced by up to 40%. Investments in ELTIFs are to be included in the standard formula’s lower equity bucket, meaning to the same level as the risk charge that applies to equities traded on a regulated market. Consequently, the risk calibration is brought down to 39% i.e. 10% lower than for other equity investments.

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Commission Delegated Regulation on obligations of depositaries published

The Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/438  supplementing the Undertakings for Collective Investments in Transferable Securities (UCITS) Directive with regard to the obligations of depositaries has been published in the Official Journal of the EU (OJ). The new depositary requirements mirror, to a large extent, the provisions on depositaries that were introduced in the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive. The Commission Delegated Regulation contains detailed provisions about the obligations and rights of depositaries, taking into account the fact that the core function of such entities is the protection of UCITS’ investors.

The Delegated Regulation will apply from 13 October 2016.

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ESMA issues guidelines on remuneration under the UCITS Directive and AIFMD

On 31 March 2016, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published its final Guidelines on sound remuneration policies under the UCITS Directive and AIFMD. ESMA has also written to the European Commission, European Council and European Parliament on the proportionality principle and remuneration rules in the financial sector.

The UCITS Guidelines provide clarity on the requirements under the UCITS Directive for management companies when establishing and applying a remuneration policy for key staff. They will ensure a convergent application and will apply to both UCITS management companies and national competent authorities from 1 January 2017.

(Read more)

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ESMA updates its Q&A document on the application of the AIFMD

On 5 April 2016, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) updated its Q&A document on the application of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD). The following question and answer have been added:

If an EU AIF decides to offer additional fund units to investors, and the offer is limited to the investors already invested in the AIF, does the AIFM have to submit a new notification to the national competent authority in accordance with Article 31(2) of AIFMD?

No.

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ESMA updates its Q&A document on the application of the UCITS Directive

On 5 April 2016, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) updated its Q&A document on the application of the UCITS Directive. The following question and answer have been added:

Can a UCITS invest in a UCITS feeder fund?

No. As UCITS feeder funds have to invest at least 85% of their net assets in their UCITS master fund, another UCITS cannot invest in a UCITS feeder fund. According to Article 50(1)(e)(iv) of the UCITS Directive, a UCITS can only invest in other UCITS if “no more than 10 % of the assets of the UCITS or of the other collective investment undertakings, whose acquisition is contemplated, can, according to their fund rules or instruments of incorporation, be in-vested in aggregate in units of other UCITS or other collective investment undertakings”.

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ESMA amends regulatory technical standards for EMIR implementation

On 5 April 2016, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published amended regulatory technical standards (RTS) implementing the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). The amended RTS deal with the access, aggregation and comparison of data across trade repositories.

In order to ensure higher quality of data and to enhance the access to data by authorities and allow for the comparability and aggregation of data across trade repositories, ESMA proposes the following amendments to its RTS:

  • standardised output format of the TR data, based on international ISO standards, allowing comparison and aggregation across TRs;
  • minimum types of queries that need to be available for the authorities;
  • standardised and secure data exchange, based on ISO standards, between TRs and authorities;
  • standardised frequencies for the provision of direct and immediate access to TR data; and
  • use of secure machine-to-machine connection and of data encryption protocols.

ESMA is aligning the implementation date of the amended RTS with the implementation date of the amended reporting rules under Article 9 EMIR which were submitted to the EC on 13 November 2015.

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ESMA updates its EMIR Q&A

On 4 April 2016, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published an update of its Q&A document regarding the implementation of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR).

The updated document includes a new Q&A regarding the population of the “Clearing obligation” field in the trade reports. In particular, this Q&A explains how the description of the field should be interpreted, how it should be populated during the frontloading period and how long the counterparties are allowed to report value “X” (standing for “not available”).

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How will T2S change the fund industry?

Recently, ALFI T2S working group members participated in a round table discussion organised by COOConnect. The aim of the round table discussion was to analyse how TARGET2-Securities (T2S), the single securities settlement system for Europe built and operated by the European Central Bank (ECB), will affect affect the funds industry indirectly and, in the longer run, directly as well, when a system designed initially for equities and bonds will extend its services to the settlement of mutual fund transactions as well.

(Read more)

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2.

News from ALFI's Asia Rep Office

Hong Kong’s SFC to enhance fund authorisation process

On 22 April 2016, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) confirmed that it will formally adopt a “revamped process” enhancing the authorization process for new fund applications and for new Mandatory Provident Funds (MPF) and Pooled Retirement Fund (PRF) products. The revamped process will also be extended to applications made by Mainland domiciled funds seeking authorization under the mutual recognition of funds arrangement between the Mainland and Hong Kong (MRF applications).   

The SFC’s official announcement can be found here.

A survey led by the HKIFA in 2012 indicated that the average time required for new funds to be approved in HK was 8.7 months, a big lag compared with Singapore, which only took 1.5 months. With the streamlined process, fund companies are now able to receive the approval in 1.2 months.

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SFC in talks about mutual recognition of funds with European markets

“We are now in talks about mutual recognition with other markets, including some in Europe”, Mr Ashley Alder, Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) said at a luncheon organised on April 15 by the Hong Kong Investment Funds Association. “The smooth running of Stock-Connect and Mutual Recognition of Funds between HK and Mainland China have paved the way for more market integration and connectivity,” Mr. Alder continued. The SFC is convinced that the growing significance of the Hong Kong asset management industry should lead to a new era of reciprocal recognition arrangements that may well supplant the type of unilateral recognition arrangements which have been the norm to support one-way fund sales into Hong Kong.

You may read the entire speech here.

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13 funds recognised as Qualifying ASEAN Collective Investment Schemes

By end of February 2016, 13 funds have been recognised by their home jurisdictions as Qualifying ASEAN Collective Investment Schemes: 6 from Malaysia, 6 from Singapore and 1 from Thailand. 

The framework for cross-border offering of ASEAN Collective Investment Schemes (CIS) launched by the ASEAN Capital Markets Forum (ACMF) has been in operation in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand since August 2014. Its objective is to allow fund managers operating in one member jurisdiction to offer CIS, such as unit trust funds constituted and authorised in that jurisdiction to retail investors in other member jurisdictions following a streamlined authorisation process. 

The ACMF targets to expand the number of members to create an “ASEAN funds pass-porting regime” that will increase capital mobility and diversity for investors in the region.

The official press release from the ACMF can be found here.

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Malaysia issues guidelines to apply for China’s RQFII program

In November 2015, tte People’s Republic of China had extended its Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII) program to Malaysia with an aggregate quota of Renminbi 50 billion, which will allow qualified Malaysian institutions to issue Renminbi investment products to investors and provide an avenue for the utilisation of offshore Renminbi for investment in China’s capital market.

On March 8, the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) jointly announced a set of guidelines for financial institutions interested in applying for the program. The guidelines describe the eligibility criteria of institutions under the supervision of the SC and BNM that can apply for the RQFII license and urge the eligible applicants to obtain confirmation from the SC and/or BNM (where applicable) on their licensing status and regulatory records for the past three years, before submitting an official RQFII application to the China Securities and Regulatory Commission (CSRC).

Malaysia is the fifteenth jurisdiction to become eligible to China’s RQFII scheme. Other participating jurisdictions are Hong Kong, London, Singapore, Taiwan, Paris, South Korea, Germany, Qatar, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Chile, Hungary, and Luxembourg.

The SC press release can be found here.

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China relaxes QFII program rules

On February 4, the China State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) has loosened controls over investment of Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors (QFII). With the objective of further opening the domestic capital market, SAFE has increased the amount of quota available under the program for single institutions and simplified the rules on how the quota is determined and awarded.

In the future, licence holders will no longer need to seek individual approval for investment quotas on a case-by-case basis, but may request a "base investment quota" of up to a maximum amount of US$5 billion. Further to this, the new rules allow QFIIs to repatriate their investments earlier by reducing the lock-up period for all QFIIs to repatriate their investment principal to 3 months.

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Singapore to introduce an open-end investment company framework

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) are planning to introduce a new regulatory framework for open-end investment companies (or OEIC), Indranee Rajah, senior minister of state for law and finance said at the Investment Management Association of Singapore’s (IMAS) recent 17th Annual Conference.

This OEIC framework should offer a more efficient fund administration structure for asset managers who domicile their funds in Singapore, compared to what is currently provided for under the Companies Act. Amongst other features, it will allow an umbrella fund structure containing several sub-funds to be set up. These sub-funds can be operationally distinct with different investment objectives, investors as well as assets and liabilities.

The OEIC framework is expected to encourage more asset managers to domicile their funds in Singapore and promote the development of the local fund administration industry.

Indranee Rajah’s speech can be found here.

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South Korea to stimulate financial advisory services

In response to growing demand from financial consumers for more accessible and more tailored financial advisory services, South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) has outlined plan to stimulate financial advisory services.

To reach this aim, the FSC plans to lower entry barriers for financial advisors, to introduce Independant Financial Advisers (IFA) to offer advice free from product providers, to facilitate robo-advisory services and to strengthen investor protection.

The FSC press release can be found here.

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Asia Region Funds Passport to become operationally effective in mid-2017

With the participation of six countries - Australia, Japan, New Zealand, The Philippines, South Korea and Thailand - the Asia Region Funds Passport (ARFP) is expected to become operationally effective by the middle of next year.  Participating countries are required to sign a final agreement in the first half of 2016. They will be given 18 months to straighten their local systems and regulatory issues for the launch of the scheme.

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3.

Upcoming ALFI events

26 May 2016: ALFI & ALRiM European Risk Management Conference

ALFI and the Luxembourg Association for Risk Management (ALRiM) are organising the 7th edition of the ALFI & ALRiM European Risk Management Conference. Each year, ALFI & ALRiM bring together market experts and leading practitioners to explore the most recent trends and strategies being used to measure, manage and mitigate risks.

Programme online!

Register now!

Late sponsorship still possible! Click here or contact events@alfi.lu.

Event webpage

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28 June 2016: ALFI Leading Edge Conference "Product Update & Distribution"

Highlights:

  • The PE and RE Universe : The Big Picture
  • 1,000+ Special Limited Partnerships set up in Luxembourg in only two years : What are their purposes?
  • RAIF, ELTIFs, EUVECA, REIT... : How does the industry see these new product initiatives?
  • What you need to know when selling PE and RE structures
  • AIF structures : The challenge of governance and oversight
  • CRS, BEPS, Transfer Pricing...: What’s next?
  • Safety net and double bottom? What risk management framework for PE and RE fund structures?
  • Debt funds: Where are we – and where do we go ?

RegistrationEarly bird rate for bookings made by 27 May!

Sponsorship opportunitiesDeadline: 9 MayBadge sponsorship still available!

Event webpage

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20 & 21 September 2016: ALFI Global Distribution Conference - 25th edition

Our comprehensive and richly varied conference programme focuses this year on markets, investor and technology:

  • Where is the action? - Myths and realities of today and tomorrow's target markets
  • Reality check: The do's and don'ts of global distribution
  • Research: How will today's investor look tomorrow?
  • Out of the box: Will asset management survive artificial intelligence?
  • Accelerating change: (How) will robot advisers and FinTechs turn fund distribution upside down?

Sponsorship opportunities – Deadline: 3 June for General Sponsorship

Event webpage

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Save the dates

7 July 2016: ALFI Roadshow to Frankfurt

Sponsorship opportunities will be sent to ALFI members soon!

Event webpage

27 October 2016:  ALFI Leading Edge Conference "Tax" (BEPS, CRS, Transfer Pricing..) 

Event webpage

3 - 6 October 2016: ALFI Roadshow to Canada and US

Event webpage

8 & 9 November 2016: ALFI Swiss Roadshow (Geneva & Zurich)

Event webpage

19 November 2016: ALFI TA & Distribution Forum

Event webpage

22 & 23 November 2016: ALFI European Alternative Investment Funds Conference

Event webpage

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ALFI events calendar & sponsorship opportunities 2016

For an overview of all events scheduled or endorsed so far by ALFI, have a look at the ALFI events calendar .Check out all upcoming events. Click on "Search Events" to filter by event type.

Don't wait for event details and topics to be set. Design your annual package now and get early visibility! You can commit to most roadshows and conferences through one single annual agreement form.

Do you have an idea of a new sponsorship? - Talk to us! ALFI events team - +352 223026.1 or events@alfi.lu

Note: the event calendar allows to have events listed either chronologically or by event category. Click on the name of the event for detailed information.

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4.

Past ALFI events

3 & 4 May 2016: ALFI London Cocktail & Conference

ALFI’s London conference at the prestigious Guildhall was attended by a record 1200 people from the fund and asset management industry. The conference featured lively and interesting debates on sustainability, consumer trends, demographics and technology in the context of the asset management industry’s role in financing the economy. The Reserved Alternative Investment Fund (RAIF) that will allow for reduced time-to-market for authorised alternative fund managers attracted particular attention. Similarly, the increasingly important role played by debt funds was highlighted on the one hand in addressing the imbalance in liquidity supply and on the other hand in helping businesses raise capital to stimulate economic growth.

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13 April 2016: ALFI Leading Edge Conference

The asset management industry is currently experiencing a range of phenomena that are likely to turn upside down the business models not only of asset managers, but also of the vast majority – if not all – actors of the investment fund value chain - a good reason for ALFI to dedicate a Leading Edge Conference to the implications regulations, changing investor behavior and technology might have on the asset servicing industry. Amongst the speakers and panelists were (from left ro right) Fabrice Trioullier, Senior Manager, EY Luxembourg, Gudrun Göbel, COO, FundRock Management Company S.A., Luxembourg, Paul Stillabower, Managing Director, Global Head of Client Experience, Global Client Coverage, RBC Investor & Treasury Services, London, and Enrico Turchi, Managing Director & Conducting Officer, Pioneer Asset Management S.A., Luxembourg.

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12-13 April 2016: ALFI US Roadshow (New York & Greenwich)

Luxembourg’s new Reserved Alternative Investment Fund (RAIF) and the way it can be used to gain access to European investors formed the primary focus of the presentations and panel discussions at ALFI’s recent road show to New York and - in partnership with the Connecticut Hedge Fund Association – to Greenwich. The seminars also included specialist sessions on real estate, private equity and hedge funds. Amongst the speakers and panelists were (from left to right) William Jones, Founder & Senior Partner, ManagementPlus Group, Luxembourg, Marc-André Bechet, Director Legal & Tax, ALFI, Revel Wood, CEO, Fundrock Management Company S.A., Luxembourg, and Claude Niedner, Partner, Arendt & Medernach, Luxembourg.

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8 & 9 March 2016 ALFI Spring Conference

Flashback on ALFI's 2016 Spring Conference with (clockwise, starting in the upper left corner) Jacques Elvinger, Partner, Elvinger Hoss Prussen, Luxembourg; Martyn-Cuff, COO, Allianz Infrastructure Transformation, Allianz-SE; Steven Maijoor, Chairman, ESMA, Paris; Jane Wilkinson, Partner, KPMG Luxembourg S.A.; Stéphane Enguehard, Managing Director, Head of Product Development Alternatives & Multi Managers, Lyxor Asset Management, Paris; Roxanne Power, Head of Investment and Fund Operations, Momentum Global Investment Management, London; Martin Dobbins, Managing Director, Country Head Luxembourg, State Street Bank SCA; Susanne Van Dootingh, Senior Managing Director, State Street Global Advisors Ltd, Brussels; Kim Pilgaard, Managing Director, Nordea Investment Funds S.A.,Luxembourg; Anke Dembowski, Managing Partner, Fondsfrauen GmbH, Wasserburg; Professor Rajnish Mehra, Deutsche Bank, Professor of Finance, University of Luxembourg; Denise Voss, Chairman, ALFI, and, in the center, the panel “Regulatory Update – CMU and beyond” with Silke Bernard, Counsel Investment Management, Linklaters LLP; Nathalie Dogniez, Partner, PwC; and Michèle Eisenhuth, Partner, Arendt & Medernach S.A.

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5.

Professional training

Upcoming training sessions

The House of Training is offering the following investment fund related training modules:

  • UCITS and Non-UCITS ManCos – 30th May - Explanation of the role, responsibilities, authorization, passport and programme of activities.
  • Investment Policies and Restrictions – 6th June: Legal framework, UCITS investment restrictions involving simple derivatives, securities lending and repo transactions.
  • Applied AML for Funds - 8th (am) & 16th (am) June: Applied understanding of AML and industry guidelines, roles and responsibilities, the risk based approach, due diligence, vigilance and outsourced partners.
  • International Fund Registrations – 14th  June: Key principles, roles of actors, European domestic market specificities, registrations outside the EU.
  • Introduction to European Fund Taxation – 10th October: Basic notions, terminology, key EU markets and reporting.
  • UCIs Key Insights into IFRS – 14th October: Understanding IFRS and their use in accounting for alternative investment funds, differences Lux Gaap vs. IFRS, financial instrument recognition, measurement and preparation of disclosures.
  • Introduction to Fund Compliance – 15th November: Ethics, governance and rules of conduct, market abuse, insider trading, customer complaints, conflict of interest, data and confidentiality.

More information can be found on both the House of Training and ALFI websites (www.houseoftraining.lu & www.alfi.lu) or via the House of Training customer service team (46 50 16-1 / customer@houseoftraining.lu).

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