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Cayman Islands is confident of being granted AIFMD passport

Date: Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Author: Press Release

London – 19 August 2015: The Cayman Islands is confident that the pan-European marketing ‘passport’ will be extended to alternative investment funds (AIFs) set up in the jurisdiction, according to the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA), the global hedge fund industry association.


Cayman, where a high percentage of offshore hedge funds are registered, still awaits assessment by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). It was not included in the initial assessments which saw ESMA recommend the passport for Jersey, Guernsey and Switzerland under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD).


But AIMA said that Cayman was well-placed to have a successful review in the near future.


Cayman has already entered into the requisite co-operation arrangements with the major EU investment securities regulators and the necessary tax information exchange agreements with EU governments as required by the AIFMD, AIMA said. In addition, the Cayman Islands Government has been developing an AIFMD compliant opt-in regime to ensure that the jurisdiction can continue to meet the needs of Cayman-based alternative investment fund managers who want to market funds into the EU under the passport.


AIMA said it was in the interests of institutional investors in Europe and hedge fund managers globally that Cayman be granted the passport.


Jack Inglis, CEO of AIMA, said: “The global industry as a whole needs Cayman AIFs to be approved under the AIFMD passport to ensure that pension funds and other European institutional investors can continue to benefit from investing in some of the world’s leading alternative investment funds. We are confident that Cayman will be granted the passport since the new Cayman regime looks similar to those in the jurisdictions that have already obtained favourable assessments.”


Alan Milgate, Chairman of AIMA Cayman, said: “ESMA’s decision should not be misinterpreted.  Cayman has simply not yet been assessed, and has certainly not been adversely opined on, or excluded by ESMA. We look forward to the Cayman Islands being assessed positively in ESMA’s ongoing review of additional non-EU jurisdictions and that AIFMs based in the Cayman Islands will continue to benefit from evolving legislation which is both flexible and adaptable.”




Notes to editors


1.    On 30 July 2015, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) issued its recommendation on the potential extension of the passports under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) to non-EU alternative investment fund managers (non-EU AIFMs) and non-EU alternative investment funds (AIFs). The Cayman Islands was listed as one of 22 jurisdictions identified by ESMA as both a domicile of (i) non-EU AIFMs that currently market AIFs, and (ii) non-EU AIFs currently marketed in the EU member states examined.

2.    ESMA has so far recommended that the passport be extended to Switzerland, Jersey and Guernsey but has promised to further assess other jurisdictions including Cayman, the US, Hong Kong and Singapore.

3.    The passport enables non-EU AIFMs and non-EU AIFs to be marketed across the European Union.

4.    ESMA decided to opt for a country-by-country assessment of the potential extension of the AIFMD passport, and stressed that it will continue to work on its assessment of other non-EU countries not covered in its initial advice with a view to delivering further submissions to the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission in the coming months.

5.    There are 2,300 investment managers currently fully licensed or registered in the Cayman Islands. More than 11,000 regulated investment funds, as well as numerous other closed-end fund structures, are currently domiciled in the Cayman Islands. 


For media enquiries, please contact:

Dominic Tonner, Director, Global Head of Communications, AIMA

Tel: +44 20 7822 8380

Email: dtonner@aima.org


Laura Brooks, Associate, Communications, AIMA

Tel: +44 (0)20 7822 8380

Email: lbrooks@aima.org


About AIMA

The Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) is the global hedge fund industry association, with over 1,500 corporate members (and over 8,000 individual contacts) in over 50 countries. Members include hedge fund managers, fund of hedge funds managers, prime brokers, legal and accounting firms, investors, fund administrators and independent fund directors. AIMA’s manager members collectively manage more than $1.5 trillion in assets. All AIMA members benefit from AIMA’s active influence in policy development, its leadership in industry initiatives, including education and sound practice manuals, and its excellent reputation with regulators worldwide. AIMA is a dynamic organisation that reflects its members’ interests and provides them with a vibrant global network. AIMA is committed to developing industry skills and education standards and is a co-founder of the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designation (CAIA) – the industry’s first and only specialised educational standard for alternative investment specialists. For further information, please visit AIMA’s website, www.aima.org.