France has signalled its ambition to complete with the more established countries for cross-border funds, by awarding 25 licenses under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD), which totals more that the UK, Ireland and Luxembourg combined. As of October, the UK had released 11 licenses, and Luxembourg and Ireland had released 3 each.

For fund managers who want international distribution for their traditional funds, Luxembourg and Ireland are their main centres, as they are governed by older Ucits regulations. Implemented in June, the AIFMD applies to funds with alternative investment strategies.

According to the Chairman of ARG, the trade body and founding member of the Paris Fund Industry, France is ready to complete with its international competitors for AIFMD business. The chairman also commented that France was more ready for AIFMD because it is similar to existing French regulations.

Despite leading the way with licenses, there has been a broader trend of funds re domiciling to Luxembourg or Dublin from France. Many say this is because Luxembourg has a wider European appeal, where Luxembourg represents Europe but France represents France alone.

SOURCE: Funds Europe 04/12/13

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