A full description of the information and document requirements of the Central Bank in support of an application for authorisation as a Non UCITS is contained in the Non UCITS Notices – see NU 4. An application must be made in writing and contain the following information:
- the name of fund
- statement of the general nature of the investment objectives of the fund
- the prospectus
- the full name and address of the promoter. Note that the promoter must be pre-cleared with the Financial Regulator prior to submitting the scheme application – see Promoter approval process
- full information on the management company if applicable
- the full name and address of the proposed trustee
- information is also required on proposed investment adviser, auditor, any third party which has been contracted by the fund, or management company acting for the fund
- There are specific additional information requirements for Unit Trust and Common Contractual Funds, Investment Companies and Investment Limited Partnerships contained in NU 4
- additional information may also be required by the Central Bank in the course of determining individual applications
A comprehensive set of forms relating to Non-UCITS applications are available on the website under Forms. For more complex applications a fact sheet on the proposed fund should be completed and submitted.
The applications forms are designed to be used by all Non-UCITS applications with the exception of a Qualifying Investor Fund (QIF) application. A separate application process is outlined later on for QIFs.
See glossary for description of various types of funds and related terms.
Professional Investor Scheme (PIF)
A PIF is a category of non-UCITS collective investment scheme authorised by the Central Bank where less restrictive investment and borrowing limits are imposed. A PIF has a minimum subscription requirement of €125,000.
Qualifying Investor Fund (QIF)
A QIF is a category of non-UCITS CIS authorised by the Central Bank for which investment and borrowing restrictions are disapplied in full.
QIFs are subject to rules in relation to supervision, disclosure and safe-keeping of assets.
QIFs have a minimum subscription requirement of €100,000. Investment is restricted to qualifying investors who certify that they are aware of the risks involved and the fact that they may lose all of the sum invested.
A qualifying investor is defined as:
- An investor who is a professional client within the meaning of Annex II of Directive 2004/39/EC (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive); or
- An investor who receives an appraisal from an EU credit institution, a MiFID firm or a UCITS management company that the investor has the appropriate expertise, experience and knowledge to adequately understand the investment in the scheme; or
- An investor who certifies that they are an informed investor by providing the following:
(a) Confirmation (in writing) that the investor has such knowledge of and experience in financial and business matters as would enable the investor to properly evaluate the merits and risks of the prospective investment; or
(b) Confirmation (in writing) that the investor's business involves, whether for its own account or the account of others, the management, acquisition or disposal of property of the same kind as the property of the scheme.
Notice NU 24 of the NU Series of Notices provides for the authorisation of CIS which market solely to QIFs. The Central Bank will authorise a QIF on receipt of a complete application for authorisation provided that:
- The parties involved are approved in advance of the application and meet necessary authorisation criteria
- Appropriate confirmation is received in relation to the contents of the relevant documentation
The full details of the authorisation process for QIFs are set out in Guidance Note 1/07 and Application Forms for Authorisation of Non-UCITS QIF schemes (including sub-funds)
Fitness and Probity
A sound and effective fit and proper test is a critical component of the regulatory regime. To ensure the proper discharge of their responsibilities, it is important that Directors and Senior Managers have the skills to manage a firm.
“Fitness” requires that a person appointed as a Director or Manager has the necessary qualifications, skills and experience to perform the duties of that position. “Probity” requires that a person is honest, fair and ethical.
Before a Director is appointed to a CIS, they must complete an Individual Questionnaire which must be submitted to the Central Bank via the online reporting system. A new Fitness and Probity regime came into force on 1 December 2011. Further information and access to the Individual Questionnaire is available on the Fitness and Probity page.