(BVI) Approved Manager Regime in the British Virgin Islands

The BVI Financial Services Commission (the "FSC") Approved Investment Manager Guidelines (the "Guidelines") came into effect on 10 December 2012.

The Guidelines set out the FSC's guidance on the BVI approved manager regime (the "Approved Manager Regime") introduced by the BVI Investment Business (Approved Managers) Regulations 2012 (the "Regulations"), aimed at non-institutional investment managers of BVI funds, providing an alternative streamlined regulatory framework for BVI investment managers currently required to be licensed under Part I of the BVI Securities and Investment Business Act, 2010 ("SIBA").

The on-going obligations of the Approved Manager Regime are less onerous than those under the alternative SIBA framework. The approval process is streamlined, with the FSC able to raise objection to the application only during the seven day period following the filing of the application, after which period the manager can commence business pending the FSC approval. The application fee under the new regime is US$1,000, with an annual renewal fee of US$1,500, payable for the first year upon the approval being granted. Accordingly, the industry has found that the new regulatory framework is efficient and cost effective while still being in line with international regulatory standards.

BVI investment managers can choose to be licensed under SIBA or to seek approval as an Approved Manager under the Regulations. We have found that the requirements under the Regulations tend to appeal to start-ups or smaller investment managers. Managers currently licensed under SIBA who opt for the Approved Manager Regime, will be required to surrender thri existing SIBA licence.

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Lisa Penn-LettsomeSenior CounselT +1 284 852 2241lisa.penn-lettsome@walkersglobal.com

Daniel WoodManaging PartnerT +971 4 363 7912daniel.wood@walkersglobal.com

Denise WongPartnerT +852 2596 3303denise.wong@walkersglobal.com

Hughie WongPartnerT +44 (0)20 7220 4982hughie.wong@walkersglobal.com

Thomas GrangerPartnerT +65 6603 1694thomas.granger@walkersglobal.com