The primary regulatory framework for funds in the BVI centers around SIBA. The latter, in its turn, gets monitored by another financial regulator - the FSC. There is also a whole network of regulations that supplement SIBA, including those regulating mutual funds, securities, and investment operations.
Individuals seeking to open a fund(s) in this jurisdiction should keep in mind that SIBA only governs mutual funds & banking organizations investing in the BVI. That said, an overwhelming number of PEFs in the BVI account for funds of a closed-end type, and that is the reason we will only be looking into closed type non-regulated institutions.
Given that operation of closed-end funds in the BVI is unregulated, local regulatory bodies have no right to conduct audits or inspections of these structures.
Those seeking to get their fund registered in the BVI should be mindful that in the event a fund (notwithstanding its type) is structured similar to a company, its registration in the BVI will get governed by legislation related to commercial entities. If its structure is similar to a partnership, it will get governed by limited partnership legislation.
BVI legislation has no requirements for those seeking to license or obtain a permit for funds of a closed-end type.
Funds investing in the BVI do not have to comply with any requirements either. However, it is not applicable to cases when legal entities possessing no land intend to acquire a land plot in the BVI. Being eligible for that requires applying for a license authorizing ownership of land in the BVI. Investment in regulated activities also requires applying for permission with a relevantly authorized body.
Licensing Investment Consultant in the BVI
Individuals concerning themselves with managing and advising funds (including investment advice) must apply for a license only if a PEF isn’t registered in the BVI. Also the said individuals shouldn’t be involved in managerial or investment-related activities in the BVI.
Should an entity having a fund status be involved in any investment-related operations, individuals performing its managerial or advisory functions must apply for a license as per SIBA.
Individuals holding a SIBA-issued license must also submit their earnings reports and seek FSC’s approval if new senior managers have been appointed or if they have established a commercial entity or subsidiary in a country other than the BVI.
BVI investment legislation also provides for an alternative way of licensing a fund manager. It is more attractive for potential investors because it provides them with more flexibility than SIBA (for instance, they mustn’t appoint auditors). Getting licensed as approved managers is possible for BVI-based entities performing managerial functions and specializing in consulting funds meeting fund criteria & which assets amount to no more than US 1 bln dollars.
The financial meltdown has also taken its toll on the BVI; therefore, it makes is also worth taking a look at banks’ involvement with DIFs or their sponsoring them.
Actually, there’ve been been hardly any major developments with respect to regulations pertaining to banks' investment in PEFs or their sponsorship activities in the BVI.
Looking for more info on starting a PEF in the BVI? Seeking comprehensive legal advice on getting a fund registered in the BVI? IQ Decision UK can help you with that and more.