On 10 June 2020 the European Commission published a report addressed to the European Parliament and the Council assessing the scope and the functioning of the alternative investment fund managers directive (AIFMD). Further details on the reached conclusions are presented in the European Commission staff working document.
The report concludes that the alternative investment fund managers directive (AIFMD) is delivering on its objectives to bring the EU AIF market into a more coordinated supervisory framework based on a harmonised set of standards, promoting a high-level investor protection and facilitating greater integration of the EU AIF market. The report confirms the key role that ESMA has been playing in promoting supervisory convergence among the NCAs in applying the AIFMD.
However, the report also identifies areas where the AIFMD could be further improved. One could explore ways of further enhancing utility of the AIFM passport. This particularly concerns market access of sub-threshold AIFMs and restrictions to market AIFs only to professional investors. Similarly, the absence of an EU passport for depositaries leaves the market for depositary services fragmented and particularly affects the supply side of these services in smaller markets.
The report discusses streamlining reporting requirements, implementing the FSB and IOSCO recommendations for leverage calculation, taking into account the ESRB recommendations to improve measures for assessing macro-prudential risks.
It is concluded that the national private placement regimes (NPPRs), which permit access of third country AIFMs and/or AIFs to the markets of individual Member States, play an important bridging role while the AIFMD passport for the third country entities has not been activated yet by means of a delegated act. Nevertheless, the issue of a level playing field for EU and non-EU AIFMs/AIFs is highlighted in the report.
A number of issues that had been raised since the implementation of the AIFMD have been already tackled by the recently adopted Union laws: the Cross-Border Fund Distribution of Investment Funds package, amendments to the AIFMR clarifying asset segregation requirements, the recently changed European Venture Capital Fund Regulation, to mentioned but a few. Other issues raised in the AIFMD report may possibly warrant further action at the Union level to support the further development of the EU AIFs market and to respond to new technological developments ensuring that the AIFMD framework is fit for purpose.
The next step in the AIFMD review process is a public consultation, which is planned for launching in early autumn 2020.