The Irish Funds Industry Association’s (IFIA) 16th annual global funds conference has paved the way for a set of groundbreaking new initiatives from the Government and Central Bank designed to support and grow the funds industry in Ireland.
Speaking at the conference, An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, affirmed the Irish Government’s commitment to the funds industry pledging to implement the General Scheme of the Irish Collective Asset-management Vehicle (ICAV) Bill by the end of 2014. The new Bill is set to revolutionise the Irish funds industry.
In his keynote address to the conference, An Taoiseach said: “Ireland is a country with a plan. As the Government works to eliminate the deficit by 2018 and return the country to full employment by 2020, the funds industry in Ireland has already contributed greatly to our recovery. In return we are dedicated to making the country’s regulated fund structures the most accessible, innovative and sophisticated in the EU. To deliver on this the Government intends to publish the Irish Collective Asset – Management Vehicle (ICAV) Bill in the coming weeks. This legislation will open up the Irish investment fund market to new participants, providing new solutions for managers who use Ireland and in doing so will create new revenue streams and new jobs in fund services around the country.”
With the onset of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) on July 22nd, added to the increasing expectations from the investment community in accessing onshore regulated funds, this year has seen increased interest globally in Ireland and the jurisdiction’s well established and regulated funds industry. Up to 100 fund managers are expected to be authorised and fully regulated under the new regime come the deadline.
Addressing the conference Pat Lardner, CEO of the IFIA, said: “We welcome the Irish Government’s commitment to the funds industry and pledge to introduce ICAV to continue to attract new funds to the country.
“Over the past year we have seen unparalleled demand for onshore regulated funds in Ireland. We believe this has been driven by the demand for our hugely experienced fund services industry, which has been in existence for 25 years.
“2014 continues to be a huge year for the Irish funds community, and the government’s pledge to provide ongoing support means we are in a fantastic position to promote growth, and welcome in a new generation of funds.”
The Irish Central Bank also provided a boost to the industry by declaring that the Central Bank will issue a public consultation on loan origination funds, with the intention of having an additional chapter in the AIF Rulebook (Alternative Investment Fund Rulebook) to provide the regulatory framework for loan origination funds. These loan origination funds will serve as a valuable source of funding and financial intermediation for the real economy.
Gareth Murphy, director of Markets, Central Bank of Ireland, addressing the conference said: “Following the issuance of the Central Bank’s Discussion Paper on loan origination by investment funds last year and the subsequent considerations by the ESRB in March, the Central Bank of Ireland intends to consult on the matter before the end of July. This consultation will take the form of a draft chapter to the Central Bank’s AIF Rulebook and aims to ensure that the risks of loan origination by funds are monitored and mitigated whilst opening up this potentially valuable channel of funding to the real economy.”
In a record year for the industry, Ireland saw a 9.5% rise in net assets of Irish domiciled funds during 2013 to reach €1.34trn. Specifically with respect to UCITS funds, Ireland’s net assets under management broke through the trillion-euro barrier from €968bn at the end of 2012, to €1.04trn in 2013, representing 15.2% of total European UCITS net assets. 2013 also saw Ireland exceed €56bn in net inflows into UCITS – one of only five European countries to record net sales of UCITS schemes of €7bn or more.
Total funds under administration for the Irish Funds Industry jumped from just under €2.2 trillion at the end of 2012 to over €2.7 trillion by the end of 2013. This increase of almost 24 percent highlights the continued importance of Ireland as a jurisdiction for the administration of funds because of our deep expertise, especially in the area of alternative funds.