As a result of votes on May 17 and May 18, respectively, of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) and European finance ministers at the meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN), there are now Parliament and Council draft texts of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFM) Directive. These competing texts will serve as the basis for negotiations at a series of “trilogue” meetings, which will take place starting shortly between representatives of the Parliament, Council and European Commission. Once a compromise text is agreed and approved by ECOFIN, it will be sent for approval by a plenary session of the Parliament. At present, the target date for the plenary vote is July 6. The provisions of the Directive when formally approved will then be implemented by individual EU member states and will come into force in July 2012 or later.

Among the areas on which there is substantial divergence between the ECON and ECOFIN texts are the terms under which funds and managers established outside the EU can market to EU investors. Accordingly, until the trilogue process is completed and the final text of the Directive has been published, it will not be possible to know the shape of the regulatory regime that will begin to apply from 2012.

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