With the introduction in December 2012 of the “BVI Approved Manager Regime”, a new regulatory ‘light’ regime for managers incorporated in the BVI, and a simplified and faster application process, it is expected that this new regime will be attractive to start-up and existing mid-size managers. Prior to the new regulatory regime, all BVI managers of open-ended funds and closed-ended funds were required to be fully licensed under the provisions of the Securities and Investment Business Act, 2010 (SIBA) and therefore complying with the BVI’s Regulatory Code and anti-money laundering regime resulting in a disproportionate amount of regulatory compliance costs when comparing start-up and mid-size managers to those managing larger sums of investor money.
The Approved Manager Regime is available to BVI managers:
- who manage BVI private or professional mutual funds with combined assets under management in such open-ended structures of USD 400 million or less; and/or
- who manage BVI closed-ended funds, having characteristics of a BVI private or professional mutual fund, with combined assets under management of USD 1 billion or less.
BVI managers that meet the above conditions are subject to far fewer continuing obligations than managers holding a full license under SIBA. Most notably:
- the Regulatory Code does not apply;
- the approved manager does not need to appoint an auditor or a compliance officer; and
- there is no requirement to maintain a compliance manual.
The anti-money laundering regime still applies and the BVI Approved Manager is still subject to the supervision by the BVI Financial Services Commission (the “BVI FSC”).
Within 7 days after submitting a completed application, BVI Approved Managers may commence business and the BVI FSC should process such application within 30 days of its submission making the application and processing time also much faster.
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