The Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) has confirmed in updated guidance issued on 1 July 2022 that pre-submissions are only required to be made to the CBI for qualifying investor alternative investment funds (QIAIFs) proposing to invest in Irish property assets and crypto-assets. There is no longer a requirement for QIAIFs with high levels of leverage, non-Irish property QIAIFs, life-settlement QIAIFs or loan originating QIAIFs to submit a pre-submission to the CBI.
All QIAIFs other than those investing in Irish property assets and crypto-assets can avail of the CBI’s 24 hour fast-track authorisation process. This is particularly good news for the continued successful roll out of investment limited partnerships (ILPs) under the recently updated ILP regime.
QIAIFs are subject to a 24 hour approval process by the CBI. Therefore, if an application (which includes the relevant certifications by the AIFM and depositary) to authorise a QIAIF is submitted to the CBI by 5pm on a business day, the QIAIF will be authorised by the CBI on the following business day.
However, at a seminar hosted by the CBI on the 24 June 2020, the CBI introduced a pre-submission process for certain asset classes, namely:
- QIAIFs with high levels of leverage
- Loan origination QIAIFs
- Property QIAIFs, and
- Life settlement QIAIFs
Now that a pre-submission is only required for QIAIFs proposing to invest in Irish property assets and crypto-assets, this means that QIAIFs with high levels of leverage, non-Irish property QIAIFs, life settlement QIAIFs and loan originating QIAIFs can now be approved by the CBI using the 24-hour fast track approval process without the need for a pre-submission, as was previously the case.
The pre-submission process
The pre-submission for Irish property assets must contain the following information:
- copies of the prospectus/supplement(s)
- a completed model portfolio template
- details of the maximum LTV/leverage limits that will apply and a rationale for same
- details of the liquidity status of the QIAIF and the redemption provisions that will apply
- an indication of the expected target market of the QIAIF
However, in the case of crypto-assets, the pre-submission must include information concerning how the crypto-assets are being appropriately risk managed (as per the AIFMD Q&A). In the case of direct investment in crypto-assets, the submission should include details from the proposed depositary demonstrating how it can provide for the safe keeping of the assets of the QIAIF, as per the 2013 AIFM Regulations. The CBI also add that where a QIAIF proposes to invest no more than 10% of its net asset value in cash-settled Bitcoin futures traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, no pre-submission is required. This, however, is provided that the cover letter accompanying the QIAIF application refers to the inclusion of crypto-assets exposure. Similarly, in the case of an application for a post authorisation amendment, the cover letter must show shareholder approval has been obtained for the revision to the QIAIFs investment strategy to introduce exposure to crypto-assets.
The CBI may also request such other information as it deems necessary in the course of assessing a pre-submission, including certain confirmations from the AIFM or in the absence of an AIFM, the board of the QIAIF, if required.
The information is required to be submitted to the CBI in good time in advance of the desired authorisation date and be cleared by the CBI before an application to authorise the QIAIF using the 24 hour approval process can be filed.
The CBI has advised that it may, going forward, amend the list of QIAIFs which are subject to a pre-submission by updating the guidance on its website.
A key advantage of establishing a QIAIF in Ireland is speed to market facilitated by the CBI’s 24-hour fast track approval process. Prior to this updated guidance, however, the process was being eroded by the CBI’s pre-submission regime for certain asset classes and was not particularly helpful to the successful roll out of ILP QIAIFs established under Ireland’s recently updated ILP regime. With the removal of the pre-submission regime for QIAIFs with high levels of leverage, loan origination QIAIFs, life settlement QIAIFs as well as non-Irish property QIAIFs, these types of QIAIFs can now avail fully of the speed to market benefits the QIAIF vehicle has to offer and is certain to increase the attractiveness of Irish ILPs.
If you would like to discuss the above or you are considering setting up a QIAIF (including an ILP) in Ireland, please contact a member of our Investment Funds team.
The content of this article is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other advice.