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Alternative funds framework coming by year’s end

Date: Thursday, February 12, 2015
Author: James Langton, IE

CSA provides update on the regulation of alternative investment funds

Canadian regulators are aiming to propose rules to implement a new regulatory regime for so-called "alternative investment funds" by the end of the year.

Back in 2013, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) published a paper sketching out proposals for a more comprehensive regulatory framework for investment funds that invest in assets, or use strategies, that are not permitted under the rules for conventional mutual funds. On Thursday, the CSA published CSA Staff Notice 81-326 Update on an Alternative Funds Framework for Investment Funds.

The CSA says that it is continuing to consult on these proposals. It expects to complete these consultations by mid-2015, and then to publish actual proposals after that. "Considering the current slate of investment fund regulatory projects, we anticipate publication will take place at the end of the year," it says.

The work to develop this framework is part of the CSA's overall effort at modernizing the rules for investment funds generally. The first phase involved incorporating regulatory relief that has been granted over the years into the rules. Phase two introduced core investment restrictions and fundamental operational requirements for non-redeemable investment funds, among other things.

The new framework for alternative funds is to be considered in conjunction with proposed restrictions on investments by non-redeemable funds in physical commodities, their use of short selling, derivatives, and borrowing cash. It also considers proficiency standards for reps, investment restrictions, and proposes areas where alternative investment funds could be permitted to use investment strategies, or invest in asset classes, that are not specifically permitted under the existing rules.

The update published Thursday reviews the comments in received in these various areas, but does not reveal the CSA's preferred policy position on any of them.