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Understanding Investing 简体中文网页 Members section

- Press releases

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) adopted on Wednesday a resolution calling for changes to the legislation covering Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products (PRIIPs). It is now expected that the European Commission submits a new version of the regulatory technical standards (RTS), because the resolution means that the draft RTS will not enter into force in their current form.

Marc-André Bechet, Director Legal & Tax of ALFI says: “We welcome the support expressed by parliamentarians for clearer rules at level 2. In May the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) highlighted the need to disclose past performance to investors and also outlined major issues linked to the current calculation and presentation of (transaction) costs. ALFI hopes that these concerns are taken up in a new delegated act from the Commission.”


The vote in plenary was preceded by a debate and vote in the European Parliament’s committee on economic and monetary affairs at the beginning of September, during which MEPs expressed major concerns with the level 2 draft RTS presented by the European Commission end of June 2016. Both the European Parliament and the Council of the EU have a right to object to the rules.


MEPs noted in the resolution that, among other things, if left unchanged, there is a risk that the rules set out in the delegated regulation go against the spirit and aim of the legislation, which is to provide clear, comparable, understandable and non-misleading information on PRIIPs to retail investors. They underlined that the treatment of multi-option products still needs to be clarified, in particular in relation to the explicit exemption granted to UCITS funds under the PRIIPs level 1 Regulation. Moreover, MEPs were of the view that the delegated act as adopted by the Commission contains flaws in the methodology for the calculation of future performance scenarios, and the lack of detailed guidance on the ‘comprehension alert’ creates a serious risk of inconsistent implementation of this element in the key information document across the single market.


The European Parliament therefore has called on the Commission to submit a new delegated act which takes account of the concerns highlighted. In addition, it has called on the Commission to consider a proposal to postpone the level 1 application date (currently set for 31 December 2016) without changing any other provision of level 1 in order to ensure a smooth implementation of the requirements set out in the PRIIPs Regulation and the delegated regulation, and avoid the application of level 1 without RTS being in force in advance.


Marc-André Bechet concludes: “ALFI supports the European Parliament’s calls on the European Commission to present a proposal to postpone the application date of the PRIIPs Regulation, to ensure that the fund industry can implement the regulations for the benefit of retail investors.”

Updated on 22/09/16
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- Webinars

With the recent Brexit developments, there is a sense of uncertainty amongst the investment management industry. This webinar will take a deep dive into the implications of the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union while also highlighting the changes and opportunities that will play out in the industry over the coming months. Gain a better understanding of how Brexit will impact you personally and what you need to do to prepare for the future.

REGISTRATION: 
Space is limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here to register for the webinar.

MODERATOR:
Doug Dannemiller, Research Leader, Investment Management, Deloitte

Doug is the head of investment management research at the Deloitte Center for Financial Services in Deloitte Services LP. He is responsible for driving the Center's research platforms and delivering world-class research for our clients. Doug has more than 20 years of experience in research, strategy, and marketing in the investment management and wealth management industries.

 

 

 

PANELISTS:
Hermann Beythan, Partner, Linklaters LLP

Hermann is the head of the Investment Management group of Linklaters Luxembourg where he has been a partner since 1998. Besides his decades-long UCITS practice, he is renowned for his work on cross-border financial services regulation, international private placements and outsourcing arrangements. He advises on the structuring of complex alternative investment fund set-ups and socially responsible fund structures. He is further active in several industry committees (ABBL/ALFI/CSSF) and a regular conference speaker.


 

Vincent Reinhart, Chief Economist, Standish   

Vincent is the Chief Economist for Standish. He is responsible for developing views on the global economy and making relative value recommendations among global bond markets, currencies, and sectors. Previously, he was Chief US Economist and managing director at Morgan Stanley. Read more.

 

 

 

OVERVIEW:
With the recent Brexit developments, there is a sense of uncertainty amongst the investment management industry. This webinar will take a deep dive into the implications of the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union while also highlighting the changes and opportunities that will play out in the industry over the coming months. Gain a better understanding of how Brexit will impact you personally and what you need to do to prepare for the future.
 
In the webinar, the speakers will discuss:

  • Trade Scenarios
  • Complications for the Fund Industry
  • Regulatory Convergence
  • Relationships Abroad

CPE INFORMATION:
NICSA is pleased to offer this webinar learning activity to attendees who are seeking CPE credits. 1 CPE unit may be available for attendees of this webinar. Read more.

Updated on 01/09/16
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Re-domicile your fund onshore: Take the road to Luxembourg

There are many competitive advantages to be achieved by domiciling funds in the right country, including but not limited to reputation, tax efficiency, cost competitiveness, the availability of an experienced workforce and, most importantly, a business-oriented regulatory environment. Nowhere in the world can be found a greater concentration of professional expertise and focus around the fund industry in a business environment so conducive to its development. The flyer provides the reader with an overview with the advantages offered by Luxembourg as a domicile of choice for investment funds.

- ALFI statements

ALFI responded to the ESMA's position paper on "The Distributed Ledger Technology applied to Securities Markets" uploaded to the ESMA website on 30 August 2016.

To view the response, please click here.

Updated on 30/08/16
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- Press releases

A change in wealth allocation and investor attitudes is set to redefine the asset management industry according to the latest paper published by the Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry (ALFI) and Deloitte Luxembourg, “How can FinTech facilitate fund distribution?”.

The paper found that Millennials and Generation X will account for half of assets under management by 2030 and that their attitudes towards saving and investment will result in asset managers adjusting their future offerings to adapt to and facilitate a new way of investing.

ALFI and Deloitte have identified in their latest report new approaches towards investment and the implications these will have on the asset management industry. New thought patterns, standards and expectations which are substantially different from previous generations will lead to a boom in robo-advice, a change in tailoring portfolios, and a shift in marketing strategies.

Denise Voss, Chairman of ALFI, says: “These behaviours will be a driver for change and the investment management industry has a unique chance to respond to these positive opportunities. Asset managers not only have to consider their offerings in the future, but we are also currently seeing an increasing number of Baby Boomers being influenced by the younger generation’s fresh perspectives. This will result in today’s asset managers having to clearly understand and address the needs of each generation individually.”                   

In addition, the paper found that the new set of investors is seeking to further align their investment portfolios with their social and economic values. Issues such as global warming sit at the forefront of what is important to younger investors, and the report forecasts a sharp movement away from traditional investment in oil and gas to clean-energy industries such as solar and wind. The research also found that Millennials are often willing to accept lower returns in exchange for greater social and environmental impact compared to previous generations.

The DIY attitude of the Millennial investor will also see an important leap in assets under management in the robo-advice space. Over 50 per cent of investors interviewed as part of the research paper cited a lack of trust in advisers and belief in better performance from self-directed investment as the reasons for why they are turning away from traditional advisers and towards robo-advisers. Total assets under management that are managed by robots currently represent less than 0.1 per cent of the €29 trillion investable assets in the US. However, the report predicts this to grow to 10 - 14% by 2025.

Simon Ramos, Partner of Deloitte Luxembourg, says: “The emergence of algorithmic-driven, so-called “robo-advice” and enhanced distribution platforms offer great opportunities for traditional asset managers to re-think their business models. The robo-advisor phenomenon will be a game changer that could result in an overall reduction of fees and create a new digital experience for the end investor. We will continue to see robo-advisers entering the fund distribution ecosystem and Luxembourg’s strongly connected industry players are well-positioned to ensure that Luxembourg remains at the forefront for innovation. Luxembourg’s fund industry must play a leading role in this shift in order to address the future of investment management.”

To download the study, please click here.

Updated on 15/07/16
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- Press releases

New fund structure will provide reduced time-to-market for authorised managers and well-informed investors!

The law introducing a new Luxembourg alternative fund structure, the Reserved Alternative Investment Fund (RAIF), has today been approved by the Luxembourg Parliament and will come into force three days after publication in Luxembourg’s Official Gazette Mémorial

Welcoming the new law, Denise Voss, Chairman of the Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry, says: “The Luxembourg RAIF Law provides an additional – complementary – alternative investment fund vehicle which is similar to the Luxembourg SIF regime. Unlike the SIF, the RAIF does not require approval of the Luxembourg regulator, the CSSF, but is supervised via its alternative investment fund manager (AIFM), which must submit regular reports to the regulator.

She continues: “Luxembourg managers will therefore have a choice, depending on investor preference.  They can set up their alternative investment funds as Part II UCIs, SIFs or SICARs if they prefer direct supervision of the fund by the CSSF. Alternatively they can set up their alternative investment fund as a RAIF, thereby reducing time-to-market."

Freddy Brausch, Vice-Chairman of ALFI with responsibility for national affairs, adds: “In order to ensure sufficient protection and regulation via its manager, a RAIF must be managed by an authorised external AIFM. The latter can be domiciled in Luxembourg or in any other Member State of the EU. If it is authorised and fully in line with the requirements of the AIFMD, the AIFM can make use of the marketing passport to market shares or units of RAIFs on a cross-border basis. As is the case for Luxembourg SIFs and SICARs, shares or units of RAIFs can only be sold to well-informed investors.

Denise Voss concludes: “The new structure complements Luxembourg’s attractive range of investment fund products and we believe this demonstrates the understanding the Luxembourg legislator has of the needs of the fund industry in order to best serve the interests of investors.“

The law will be published on the website of the Mémorial. Click here to access the legislative history.

Updated on 14/07/16
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- Press releases

The UK voted on 23 June to exit the EU and we must all now work to create practical solutions to implement this. For asset managers, whilst Brexit is a business issue and depends on each manager’s business model and strategy, ALFI will be working on practical solutions for the industry.

The impact of this vote will be dependent on future political decisions and trade negotiations and, in order to avoid uncertainty and to ensure that investors continue to be as protected as they are under EU regulation, it is essential that the period for negotiation is not prolonged and that a level playing field is maintained. 

The Luxembourg fund industry has a very good relationship with the UK financial services industry and we will work to maintain these good relations. Luxembourg-domiciled investment funds originating from UK asset managers represented 16.5% of the total assets under management in Luxembourg at the end of March 2016 – the 2nd largest group after US asset managers. Several large UK asset managers have made Luxembourg an important part of their strategy for the global distribution of investment funds and have established important UCITS (and AIFMD) management companies in Luxembourg.

 

WATCH! Camille Thommes, Director General at ALFI, comments on Brexit in the latest KPMG's video:

Updated on 03/10/16
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- Publications

The Reserved Alternative Investment Fund (RAIF) vehicle combines the characteristics and structuring flexibilities of Luxembourg regulated specialised investment funds (SIFs) and investment companies in risk capital (SICARs) qualifying as AIFs managed by an authorised AIFM, except that RAIFs are not subject to CSSF approval before they are launched. This permits the achievement of a significantly enhanced time-to-market for new fund launches.  

The RAIF regime is optional. The constitutive documents must expressly provide that the investment vehicle is subject to the provisions of the RAIF Law.

Read the press release Luxembourg's reserved alternative investment fund vehicle approved.

Investors

Investment in a RAIF is reserved for “well-informed” investors requiring a limited level of protection and looking for investment flexibility suitable to their particular expertise and needs. This term comprises:

* Other investors are those who confirm in writing that they adhere to the status of “well-informed” investors and who either (i) invest a minimum of EUR 125,000 or (ii) have been assessed by a credit institution, an investment firm or a management company which certifies the investors’ ability to understand the risks associated with investing in the RAIF

Legal framework

The RAIF was introduced by the Luxembourg Law of 23 July 2016 (RAIF Law, click here).

Eligible assets and risk diversification requirements

There is no restriction in terms of eligible assets of a RAIF.

RAIFs are subject to the principle of risk-spreading. In the absence of any detailed rules in the RAIF Law itself, the principles of risk-spreading and its interpretation in relation to SIFs should be taken into account.

However, if the RAIF’s constitutional documents provide for exclusive investments in risk capital (like SICARs), the principle of risk spreading won’t apply.

Legal form

A SIF may take the legal form of a common fund (FCP – fonds commun de placement) or may be constituted as an investment company (SICAV – Société d’investissement à capital variable or SICAF – Société d’investissement à capital fixe). Other legal forms are possible.

The FCP has no legal personality and thus must be managed by a management company.

A SICAV/SICAF may take one of six possible legal forms:

These different entities may be set up as a single fund or as an umbrella fund consisting of multiple compartments, each with a different investment policy. The compartment of an umbrella RAIF can invest in one or more other compartments of the same RAIF. The fund and compartments respectively may have an unlimited number of share classes, depending on the needs of the investors to whom the fund is distributed.

The structures may be open-ended or closed-ended, for both subscriptions and redemptions. 

Capital requirement and other aspects

The net assets of a RAIF may not be less than EUR 1,250,000. This minimum must be reached within a period of twelve months following its authorisation. Only 5% of the capital needs to be paid up on subscription.

Unless otherwise provided for, the assets of a RAIF must be valued at fair value.

Management and marketing of RAIFs

In order to ensure sufficient protection and regulation via its manager, RAIFs can only be managed by authorised Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFMs), i.e. managers managing portfolios of Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) whose assets under management in total exceed the thresholds defined by article 3 (2) Luxembourg AIFM Law. Below-threshold AIFMs cannot manage RAIFs.

Moreover, the manager must be an external AIFM, i.e. a legal person appointed by the RAIF or on behalf of the RAIF and which through this appointment is responsible for managing the RAIF. A RAIF cannot take the form of an internally-managed AIF.

The authorised external AIFM managing the RAIF can be domiciled in Luxembourg or in any other Member State of the EU. Once the AIFMD third country passport becomes applicable, the AIFM can also be domiciled in a third country.

Authorised AIFMs can – subject to certain formalities – market shares and units of RAIFs to investors domiciled in other EU Member States (and EEA countries respectively). Marketing to investors outside the EU depends on the rules of the non-EU Member State concerned.

Establishment of a RAIF and offering document

RAIFs are established by notarial certification. It is sufficient to certify that the AIFM confirms the fund’s creation, and that this information is published in the official gazette Mémorial. This means that the fund’s constitutional documents do not have to be certified by a notary.

The RAIF is entered in a list held by the Luxembourg trade and companies register.

For each RAIF an offering document must be prepared which indicates on its front page that the fund is not subject to supervision in Luxembourg.

Under certain conditions, distinct offering documents can be prepared for compartments of an umbrella RAIF.

Taxation

A RAIF is subject to a reduced subscription tax (taxe d’abonnement) of 0.01% p.a. of its NAV, unless it is tax exempt, which is possible for certain money market, pension and microfinance funds, funds investing in other funds already subject to subscription tax.

However, if a RAIF invests exclusively – in line with its constitutional documents – in risk capital, it is subject to the SICAR tax regime (in its entirety), which means:

  • it is not subject to subscription tax;
  • it pays the ordinary income tax, unless a tax exemption applies (e.g. for income derived from transferable securities);
  • the auditor must confirm the investment in risk capital.

Compartments of umbrella funds are subject to the same tax regime, i.e. it is not possible to set up within the same umbrella fund compartments subject to the subscription tax and compartments subject to the SICAR tax regime.

Service providers

Management company:

A common fund has no legal personality and thus must be managed by a management company.

The individuals who effectively conduct the business of a management company must be of good repute and be sufficiently experienced in relation to the type of RAIF to be managed. The management company must have an initial capital of at least EUR 125,000. 

Depositary:

Luxembourg RAIFs must appoint a depositary which is responsible for both the safekeeping of assets and the supervision of the fund and, if applicable, its management company.

The individuals who represent the depositary bank must be of good repute and have sufficient and relevant experience.

Auditor:

The fund (SICAV) or its management company (FCP) prepares an annual report which is to be audited by a Luxembourg statutory auditor with appropriate professional experience. There is no obligation to produce a semi-annual report.

Updated on 10/11/16
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