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AIFMD and (Belgian) Real Estate Funds

An overview of recent scope and impact discussions

Following the financial crisis, the G20 leaders concluded that a secure and stable financial system requires that all significant financial market actors are subject to appropriate regulation and supervision. One of the European Commission’s answers to this conclusion is the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) which sets out the regulatory framework for managers of alternative investment funds (AIFs). AIFMs are defined as legal persons whose regular business is managing one or more AIFs. The term AIF encompasses a wide range of investment funds that are not already regulated at European level by the UCITS Directive. They include hedge funds, private equity funds, real estate funds and a wide range of other types of institutional funds.

A key element in determining the scope of the AIFMD, and as such the applicability of the directive to real estate funds/vehicles, is the definition of AIF and the concepts used therein. The concepts of the definition are particularly relevant for the real estate sector given the diversity of structures and vehicles existing in the different national real estate markets.

This briefing note aims to summarize the scope discussion related to real estate funds/vehicles and approach in a number of EU Member States, and to consider from a more Belgian point of view the possible impacts of the directive on Belgian real estate funds (Sicafi/vastgoedbevaks).

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