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Aqua Welcomes ESMA's Announcement and Passporting Advice

In PWC's report of 19th July 2016 it states that the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) advice continues to underline Channel Islands' European market access certainty.

Jersey and Guernsey’s strong position as jurisdictions for marketing alternative investment funds into the European investor market has been further underlined through an announcement by the body that supervises European funds activity. 

In an announcement today relating to the extension of the funds passport to twelve non-EU countries under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD), the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) confirmed that both Islands were two of only five non-EU jurisdictions to have no obstacles at all in being able to apply the passport. 

The announcement follows ESMA’s advice in July 2015 which initially recommended that Jersey and Guernsey should be granted an AIFMD passport. ESMA’s advice will now be considered by the European Commission, Parliament and Council. 

The certainty of European market access that Jersey and Guernsey offers to alternative fund managers is clearly having a positive impact on our Islands' alternative funds activity, both in terms of fund servicing levels and in growing the fund management community. Managers appreciate the flexibility the both Jersey and Guernsey offer in terms of accessing Europe through private placement or, in due course, the passport, as well as a regime for funds activity that doesn’t touch Europe at all. 

What ESMA’s latest announcement shows is that satisfying ESMA’s criteria is not straightforward for all jurisdictions and that both Islands' foresight to create an AIFMD equivalent regime is now putting the Channel Islands in a very strong place.