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The ‘Qualifying’ Private Investor Fund (PIF) – A New Guernsey Private Investment Fund

A Guernsey ‘Qualifying’ Private Investor Fund (PIF)

Following consultation with industry in 2020, the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) has updated its Private Investment Fund Regime, to expand the available PIF options. The new rules became effective on 22 April 2021, and immediately replaced the previous Private Investment Fund Rules, 2016.

Route 2 – the Qualifying Private Investor (QPI), PIF

This is a new route that does not require a GFSC Licensed Manager.

This route, compared to the traditional route, offers reduced operational and governance costs, whilst retaining substance within the PIF through the proper operation of the board and the close, on-going role of the Guernsey appointed licensed Administrator.

The Criteria

A Route 2 PIF must fulfil the following criteria:

  1. All investors must meet the definition of a Qualifying Private Investor as defined in the Private Investment Fund Rules and Guidance (1), 2021. In this case the definition includes the ability to;
    • evaluate the risks and strategy for investing in the PIF;
    • bear the consequences of investment in the PIF; and
    • bear any loss arising from the investment
  2. No more than 50 legal or natural persons holding an ultimate economic interest in the PIF;
  3. The number of offers of units for subscription, sale or exchange does not exceed 200;
  4. The fund must have a designated Guernsey resident and Licensed Administrator appointed;
  5. As part of the PIF application, the PIF Administrator must provide the GFSC with a declaration that effective procedures are in place to ensure restriction of the scheme to QPIs; and
  6. Investors receive a disclosure statement in the format prescribed by the GFSC.

Who Will the Route 2 PIF be Attractive To?

The Route 2 PIF will be particularly attractive to a range of Promoters and Managers as it reduces the overall formation and on-going costs of the PIF, whilst affording an appropriate level of regulation in the highly favoured jurisdiction of Guernsey.

This route allows a PIF to become self-managed (which is likely to further reduce costs) but still allows the flexibility of appointing a Manager if desired.

This route is suitable for investment managers, family office, or groups of individuals to develop a track record of investment management

The GFSC has noted that the new PIF rules do not widen or alter the definition of ‘collective investment scheme’.

Dixcart and Additional Information

Dixcart is licensed under the Protection of Investors (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law 1987 to offer PIF administration services, and holds a full fiduciary license granted by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission.

For further information on private investment funds, please contact Bruce Watterson or Steve de Jersey at advice.guernsey@dixcart.com

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