The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has today issued two Self-Assessment Questionnaires for already authorised Maltese Fund Managers and Self-Managed Funds (other than UCITS Schemes) in order to assist them with the transition into the new AIFMD regime by 22 July, 2014. In this regard, the MFSA indicates that a completed Self-Assessment Questionnaire should be submitted before 31 March, 2014 in order to meet the deadline for compliance.

For those licence holders wishing to commence passporting their AIFs on 22 July, 2013 (the date of coming into effect of the AIFMD marketing passport), the MFSA indicates that if completed Self-Assessment Questionnaires are received by not later than 10 June, 2013 the MFSA will (depending on the quality of the submissions) aim for AIFM licensing on 22 July, 2013.

In line with the European Commission’s Q&A on AIFMD, the Self-Assessment Questionnaires also note that (irrespective of whether or not Fund Managers / Self-Managed Schemes are authorised as AIFMs) the reporting obligations under AIFMD will commence from 22 July, 2013.

A copy of the questionnaires and the MFSA’s covering note can be downloaded here.

The following is a high level overview of the Self-Assessment Questionnaires and the next steps.

Who does this apply to?

The Self-Assessment Questionnaires apply to Licence Holders within the scope of AIFMD, essentially:

  • Category 2 Licence Holders authorised to provide investment management services to collective investment schemes (including UCITS Management Companies that manage non-UCITS Funds);
  • Self-Managed Retail Non-UCITS Schemes; and
  • Professional Investor Schemes (Experienced, Qualifying & Extraordinary)

What do we need to do?

Fund Managers and Self-Managed Schemes should, if they have not done so already, begin by:

  1. identifying the AIFs for which they are the AIFM; and
  2. calculating their AuM in accordance with the methodology in the Level 2 Implementing Regulation (AIFMR), in order to determine whether or not they qualify as a de minimis AIFM

Fund Managers and Self-Managed Schemes that qualify for the de minimis regime should also assess whether there is a likelihood that the de minimis thresholds will be exceeded by 22 July, 2014 or whether they wish to opt for Full AIFM to access the AIFMD passport.

Category 2 Licence Holders authorised to provide MiFID services or other activities (eg. Credit Institutions) in addition to fund management should (if they do not qualify as de minimis AIFMs) begin assessing whether or not those activities are compatible with Full AIFM authorisation. If not, they should start making plans to discontinue the incompatible activities or spin-off the fund management arm.

The Self-Assessment Questionnaires

The choice of Self-Assessment Questionnaire will depend on the preliminary assessment above, that is either:

  1. The Self-Assessment for Fund Managers and Self-Managed Schemes applying as De Minimis Licence Holders; or
  2. The Self-Assessment for Fund Managers and Self-Managed Schemes applying for an AIFM licence.

1.  The Self-Assessment for Fund Managers and Self-Managed Schemes applying as De Minimis Licence Holders

Since the de minimis regime is designed to mirror the present regime for Fund Managers (Click here for details on the draft De Minimis AIFM Rulebook) this Self-Assessment Questionnaire is solely aimed at collecting information on the AIFs for which the Fund Manager/Scheme is the AIFM and the level of AuM.

2. Self-Assessment for Fund Managers and Self-Managed Schemes applying for an AIFM licence.

The Full AIFM Self-Assessment Questionnaire is designed to guide Fund Managers and Self-Managed Schemes through the additional areas covered by the new AIFM Rulebook and AIF Rulebook when compared to the present regime(s) and prompts the entity completing the questionnaire to consider the relevant provisions to assess compliance.

Although the Full AIFM Self-Assessment Questionnaire still needs to be analysed in detail, first impressions are positive and that this looks to be a useful starting point / checklist for Maltese Fund Managers and Self-Managed Schemes looking to seamlessly transition into the AIFMD regime.

At 27 pages the Self-Assessment Questionnaire looks deceptively brief, however, the list of supporting documentation required (many of which are declarations of compliance) and the changes that need to be put into place in order to create/issue same should serve as a wakeup call for Licence Holders to commence work and seek appropriate expert advice at an early stage.

For more information or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact the author or any of the Key Contacts for GANADO’s Investment Management & Funds Industry Grouping.