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Norway: Market update: AIFs

Five months have passed since the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) was implemented in Norway. Since July 1 2014, a relatively large number of applications have been filed with the Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway (FSAN), concerning both marketing in Norway of non-EEA alternative investment funds (AIFs) of EEA alternative investment fund managers (AIFMs) and AIFs of non-EEA AIFMs. The FSAN have slowly but steadily been working through the pile of applications and after a somewhat slow start in July and August, have now increased the pace. To date, approximately 30% of the filed applications have been handled. Of these, approximately 65% relate to non-EEA AIFs of non-EEA AIFMs and 35% relate to non-EEA AIFs of EEA AIFMs.

Klaus Henrik Wiese-HansenChristina RiisnesChristoffer N Sortland
The FSAN are handling the marketing applications in the order they are received. The FSAN have worked their way through all the applications they received in July (none received in August) and are on good track with September applications. Fund managers should still expect to wait two to three months from the date of filing before an application to market in Norway will be accepted, but this period is likely to be reduced when the FSAN are getting nearer to the bottom of the pile of applications.

The FSAN have not published any application forms to complete. Therefore, individual marketing applications must be drafted for each AIF to be be marketed in Norway on the basis of article 36 or 42 of the AIFMD. That being said, marketing applications can be rather uniform and can of course include more than one AIF. Approval of the marketing application can be granted if the marketing conditions of the Norwegian AIFM Act are satisfied. In order to avoid one or more rounds of Q&A with the FSAN, foreign fund managers should note that the application for marketing should be more comprehensive than we often see in more mature fund jurisdictions than Norway. Fund managers should also note that non-EEA AIFs of EEA AIFMs and AIFs of non-EEA AIFMs cannot be actively marketed in Norway before the FSAN have approved the AIF in question for marketing in Norway. Therefore, unlike several other European jurisdictions, marketing in Norway cannot begin once the application has been filed with the FSAN.

Through the European Securities and Markets Authority, the FSAN have entered into supervisory co-operation agreements with the regulatory authorities in most alternative investment fund jurisdictions outside the EEA, including: Australia; the Bahamas; the British Virgin Islands; the Cayman Islands; Guernsey; Hong Kong; the Isle of Man; Japan; Singapore; Switzerland; and, the US.

Klaus Henrik Wiese-Hansen, Christina Riisnes and Christoffer N Sortland

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