The Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) applies to managers of non-UCITS funds. This covers managers of such entities as hedge funds, private equity funds and real estate funds. ESMA’s role on the AIFMD has included delivering advice to the European Commission on the detailed rules underlying the Directive on such areas as leverage, depositaries and reporting requirements. Once the Directive enters into force, ESMA will also have an important role to play in relation to gathering data on the activities of these managers and coordinating the framework that applies to non-EU entities.
The revised UCITS Directive (2009/65/EC) replaced the Simplified Prospectus with the Key Investor Information Document (KIID). This is a pre-contractual document that must be provided to any investor considering investing in a UCITS. The KIID should communicate enough information to allow an informed investment decision, while being both short and written in language that is easily understood by the average retail investor. ESMA’s predecessor, CESR, provided advice to the European Commission on the format and content of the KIID, and developed guidelines on certain aspects of the requirements e.g. how the disclosures should be adapted to structured UCITS.
The aim of the Packaged Retail Investment Products (PRIPs) workstream is to put in place a consistent regime for product disclosures and selling practices with respect to the main categories of retail investment product (harmonised and non-harmonised funds, retail structured securities, structured term deposits and insurance-based investments). The European Commission identified two benchmarks for the PRIPs framework: for disclosures, the KIID for UCITS; for selling practices, the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID). ESMA’s predecessor, CESR, contributed to work done by the 3 Level 3 Committees (CESR, CEBS and CEIOPS) in this area.
ESMA is generally responsible for promoting convergent approaches to investment management regulation in the EU. ESMA seeks to achieve this using a number of tools, such as guidelines under Article 16 of the ESMA Regulation and Q&As under Article 29.
According to its obligations under the Omnibus Directive, ESMA makes available the following lists: