In the area of collective investment schemes, European law currently covers four types of harmonized investment funds:
- UCITS (Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities), the main European framework covering collective investment schemes that are suitable for retail investors;
- AIFM (Alternative Investment Fund Managers), covering managers of alternative investment schemes that are addressed to professional investors;
- EuVECA(European Venture Capital Funds), a subcategory of alternative investment schemes that focus on start-up companies;
- EuSEF (European Social Entrepreneurship Funds), an investment scheme that focuses on all kinds of enterprises that achieve proven social impacts.
In addition, the European Commission has, in June and September 2013, proposed two additional cross-border fund ’passports’:
- ELTIF (European Long-Term Investment Funds), the proposed framework covering funds that focus on investing in various types of alternative asset classes such as infrastructure, small and medium sized enterprises and real assets;
- MMF (Money Market Funds), the proposed European framework that covers collective investment schemes focusing on money market instruments;
In the area of asset management generally, the European Commission, in July 2012, put forward a proposal introducing a Key Information Document (KID – a simple document giving key facts to investors in a clear and understandable manner) covering not only collective investment schemes but also other ’packaged’ investment products offered by banks or insurance companies (Regulation on key information for Retail Investment Products).