Final ESMA Guidelines on Key Concepts of the AIFMD Published
On August 13, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published the final version of its guidelines on key concepts of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (2011/61/EU) (AIFMD) (ESMA/2013/611).
The purpose of the guidelines is to ensure common, uniform and consistent application of the concepts that comprise the definition of "AIF" (the Alternative Investment Fund) in Article 4(1)(a) of the AIFMD by clarifying each of these concepts.
Competent authorities to which the guidelines apply must notify ESMA within two months of the date of publication whether they comply or intend to comply with the guidelines, with reasons for non-compliance. In the absence of a response by this deadline, competent authorities will be considered as non-compliant. Guidelines.
FCA Updates AIFMD Webpage with Information on Passporting Arrangements
On August 15, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) updated the "latest news" webpage on the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (2011/61/EU) (AIFMD) with information on passporting arrangements under the AIFMD.
The update notes that ESMA recently published an opinion that recognizes the right of firms to be able to exercise passport rights in Member States that have not yet transposed the directive, assuming the firms' own home Member State has transposed the AIFMD.
As the UK has transposed the AIFMD, UK firms should be able to exercise passporting rights in all EEA states, with the exception of Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland. UK firms will be able to exercise AIFMD passporting rights in these jurisdictions when the EEA Agreement (to which Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland are signatories) has been updated to include the AIFMD within its scope. Similarly, UK firms will be able to exercise passport rights in Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland pursuant to the European Social Entrepreneurship Funds Regulation (Regulation 346/2013) (EuSEF Regulation) and the European Venture Capital Funds Regulation (Regulation 345/2013) (EuVECA Regulation), when the EEA Agreement has been updated to include these regulations within its scope. "Latest News" Webpage. Opinion.
SFO Brings First Charges Under the Bribery Act 2010
On August 14, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) published a press release announcing that it has charged four men with offenses of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and conspiracy to furnish false information, contrary to section 1 of the Criminal Law Act 1977, in connection with the investigation by the SFO into the promotion and selling of "bio fuel" investment products to UK investors. The value of the alleged fraud is approximately £23 million, and the offenses are said to have taken place between April 2011 and February 2012. The SFO has also charged three of those four men with offenses of making and accepting a financial advantage, contrary to sections 1(1) and 2(1) of the Bribery Act 2010. These are the first charges to be brought by the SFO under the Bribery Act. Press Release. Investigation.