Alternative options gain traction in Ireland

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The continuing low rate environment and ongoing depressed yields in traditional asset classes represent significant challenges for investors. Institutional investors are no exception, and, as a result, are increasingly considering new avenues to achieve the returns they need to meet their liabilities.

A report published by Mckinsey & Co in 2014 estimated that three-quarters of investors expect to maintain or increase their investments in alternatives over the next three years. This trend is expected to create significant opportunities for alternative investment providers, and has been accompanied by a boon in new vehicles and structures which can provide the “hygiene factor” institutional investors need when moving into unchartered investment areas.

Ireland is already one of the principal domiciles for alternative investments in Europe and the landscape continues to evolve to remain attractive for private equity and real estate managers, driven by the variety of structures in place in the domicile to support them.

One of the latest is the Irish Collective Asset Management Vehicle Bill (ICAV), allowing a regulated fund to be set up as a corporate vehicle. The ICAV Act was signed into law on 4th March 2015, and AIFs looking to use the ICAV structure will be authorized by the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI).

The CBI is acting as registrar for all ICAVs, with applications available from their website from 10th March and accepted from 16th March. Both managers and service providers will keep a close watch on application levels over the first few months as ICAV is widely expected to become an attractive vehicle, especially for US-managed Collective Investment Schemes, due to the option for fund managers to elect classification under the US double taxation rules.

Jonathan Boyd
Editorial Director of Open Door Media Publishing Ltd, and Editor of InvestmentEurope. Jonathan has over two decades of media experience in Japan, Australia, Canada and the UK. Over the past 17 years he has been based in London writing about funds and investments. From editing the newsletter of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Japan in the 1990s he now focuses on Nordic markets for InvestmentEurope. Jonathan was awarded Editor of the Year at the Professional Publishers Association (PPA) Independent Publisher Awards 2017. Shortlisted for the same in 2016, he was also shortlisted in 2017 and 2015 for the broader PPA Awards category Editor of the Year (Business Media).

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