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The Directive on Alternative Investment Fund Managers was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 1 July 2011, with a view to creating a comprehensive and effective regulatory and supervisory framework for alternative investment fund managers within the EU.
The scope of AIFMD is broad; it captures the management and the marketing of alternative investment funds or “AIFs” (i.e. most vehicles that would be regarded as "funds”, as well as vehicles that one might not think of as a "fund" at all).
Please click on the tiles below for more details on the various topics covered by AIFMD. Some topics will only be relevant to European fund managers who are authorised under AIFMD as implemented in the jurisdiction in which they carry out their business.
Other topics will be of wider relevance, including for managers based outside of Europe. For example, non-European fund managers who are marketing their fund products to European investors may find the marketing section useful. This section will then provide further details on which aspects of AIFMD these non-European fund managers would need to comply with.
AIFMD, as is generally the case with EU Directives, is not directly applicable itself and requires each EU Member State to enact domestic legislation to implement it. It is therefore important when analysing the law in any given EU Member State to consider how the relevant Member State has implemented AIFMD and whether the relevant Member State has any guidance regarding how the law should be interpreted in that jurisdiction.
AIFMD is also supplemented, at the EU level, by directly applicable Level 2 Regulations (see EU, Luxembourg and UK Sources). The Level 2 Regulations apply in all Member States in addition to any domestic legislation without any further domestic implementation required.
The UK implemented AIFMD into domestic law when it was part of the European Union. Post Brexit, the UK has retained many of the rules stemming from AIFMD. However, the UK is now considered a “third country” for the purposes of AIFMD. As such, among other impacts, UK AIFMs will no longer be able to market funds on the basis of the previous EU passport and instead will have to rely on National Private Placement Regimes when marketing any AIFs into the EU. For more details on the impact of Brexit on the rules applicable to UK and EU AIFs and AIFMs following 31 December 2020, please click on the Brexit tile below.
AIFMD is marked “with EEA relevance”. This means that it was intended to be adopted under the agreement constituting the European Economic Area (“EEA”), and it was so adopted in 2016 (see here for more information). From the date of adoption, AIFMD has the same legal effect in non-EU countries within the EEA (i.e. Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) as in EU Member States. Nevertheless, for consistency with the AIFMD text, in this site we refer to “EU” and “non-EU” rather than “EEA” and “non-EEA”.
The European Commission published legislative proposals in November 2021 to amend AIFMD, following a wholesale review of the Directive. The Council and European Parliament published their own positions on the proposals in June 2022 and February 2023, respectively. Read our note for a comparison of the positions of the three EU legislators on certain key points, and our thoughts on likely direction of travel for AIFMD 2.0.
If you would like any further information on AIFMD, please contact any of the Linklaters’ contacts listed below, or your usual Linklaters contact.
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