Funds re-domicile to Gibraltar because of many of the same factors attracting newly established funds to the jurisdiction – namely the fiscally effective legislative framework for funds and managers, combined with high regulatory standards, economic stability, accessibility, European time zone and the high quality professional services infrastructure. In addition, market observers believe that with the entry of AIFMD and the subsequent harmonisation of fund regulation across Europe, AIFs located outside the EU wishing to market to EU-based investors will find it useful to establish a European feeder fund structure in jurisdictions such as Gibraltar. This will address the restrictions in place on fund managers marketing non-EU domiciled funds in Europe and provide funds with an EU marketing passport based on AIFMD.
Re-domiciling a fund to Gibraltar commences on the basis that the entity meets the provisions of the legislation, is established in a form recognised under Gibraltar law and is approved by the FSC. In addition, a fund’s by-laws, as well as the laws and regulations of the home jurisdiction, must also allow for the re-domiciliation to take place. It is important to note that the re-domiciliation process does in no way operate to create a new legal entity, prejudice or affect the continuity of the company or affect the property of the company.
Apart from the established re-domiciliation provisions codified in Gibraltar law, the 2012 EIF Regulations include provisions within the definition of an Experienced Investor to allow for participants in funds that are re-domiciling to Gibraltar to automatically qualify, under certain circumstances, as Experienced Investors for the purposes of Gibraltar law. In addition, Gibraltar’s 2012 EIF legislation dispenses with the requirement for a re-domiciled fund to appoint a local fund administrator. A foreign administrator, however, requires approval from its home regulator, must be located within the EEA or in a jurisdiction with similar regulatory and legislative standards to those of Gibraltar, and finally receive consent from the FSC and the Minister responsible for Financial Services. The foreign administrator may find it beneficial to appoint a local administrator to act as its agent. The local agent typically handles the co-ordination of filings with Companies House, the FSC and other functions that the foreign administrator may wish to delegate locally.