Authorisation Process for AIFs

The process for authorising AIFs differs depending on the targeted investor.

Retail Investor Alternative Investment Funds

An application for authorisation of a RIAIF must be made in writing and contain the following information (non-exhaustive list):

  • The relevant Central Bank Application Forms(fully completed and signed);
  • Draft fund documents (e.g. prospectus, supplements, etc);
  • Draft letters relevant to the application (e.g. letter of application, letter regarding safekeeping of assets);

Please note that additional information may be required by the Central Bank in the course of determining individual applications.

Umbrella applications (including its initial sub-fund(s)) should be submitted by email to [email protected].

Standalone and additional sub-fund applications of existing umbrellas should be submitted through ORION .

Qualifying Investor Alternative Investment Fund

The Central Bank will authorise a Qualifying Investor AIF on receipt of a complete application provided that:

(a) the parties involved are approved by the Central Bank in advance of the application and meet the necessary approval criteria set out in the AIF Rulebook; and

(b) appropriate confirmation is received in relation to the contents of the relevant documentation.

An application for authorisation as a Qualifying Investor AIF can only be made where the:

management company, general partner, AIFM, Directors in the case of an investment company or ICAV, depositary; and other service providers (fund administrator, investment manager) have been approved/cleared by the Central Bank in advance of the application.

An application for authorisation must be made in writing specifying the legislation under which authorisation is required. The letter of application must be accompanied by the standard application forms , duly completed and all relevant documentation. The application must be made by the AIFM together with the investment company or management company or general partner and depositary as appropriate.

Applications, including applications for approval of new sub-funds of existing umbrella Qualifying Investor AIFs, must be filed no later than 5pm on the business day before the proposed date of authorisation or approval. Where applications are not in full compliance with the Central Bank’s requirements, authorisation or approval will not proceed. Late and/or incomplete applications will be returned in order that documents may be re-dated or otherwise amended as necessary. Letters of authorisation or approval will issue by close of business on the day of authorisation or approval.

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 Managers have the skills to manage an AIF.

“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.

The Central Bank expects that the board of directors of management companies, general partners and investment companies will include directors who have experience in relation to the organisation of AIFs. All directors, including new directors to existing management companies, must be approved in advance of the application.

An on-line Individual Questionnaire must be completed in respect of each director appointment, including directors who were previously approved as a director to a Retail Investor AIF or to a Retail Investor AIF service provider. Accordingly, all proposed directors must complete the on-line Individual Questionnaire at least 20 working days in advance of the proposed authorisation date for the Retail Investor AIF.

An on-line Individual Questionnaire must be completed in respect of each director appointment, including directors who were previously approved as a director to a Qualifying Investor AIF or to a Qualifying Investor AIF service provider. Accordingly, all proposed directors must complete the on-line Individual Questionnaire at least 5 working days in advance of filing the Qualifying Investor AIF application.

More information in relation to the fitness and probity process is available here.

Requests for a Derogation for a Retail Investor AIF/Qualifying Investor AIF

A request for a derogation from the AIF Rulebook may be sought by a Retail Investor AIF/Qualifying Investor AIF and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  

Pre-Submissions for a Qualifying Investor AIF

pre-submission is required in respect of certain Qualifying Investor AIFs and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  

Quality assurance checks of Qualifying Investor AIFs

The Central Bank carries out quality assurance reviews post authorisation on a sample of Qualifying Investor AIFs.  These Qualifying Investor AIFs are selected at the discretion of the Central Bank.  These reviews focus on the Qualifying Investor AIF’s compliance with the Central Bank’s AIF Rulebook (and other regulatory / legislative obligations as applicable).  Where selected for a quality assurance review, the Qualifying Investor AIF or their representative is expected to respond to any comments raised by the Central Bank in a timely manner.