Legal Updates

 Asset Management and Investment FundsJune 08, 2020

Approval process for Investment Managers seeking to manage regulated funds in Ireland

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Over the past 30 years Ireland has attracted over 1,000 asset managers from over 50 countries. These asset managers manage over 14,000 funds with assets under management approaching Euro 6 trillion.

The Application Process

In order to provide discretionary investment management services to Irish domiciled investment funds each entity must be cleared to do so by the Central Bank of Ireland (the “Central Bank”). EU regulated managers can avail of a short form fast track application and this applicant will not be subject to any additional regulatory review. In addition, the Central Bank has deemed those countries listed at Appendix 1 as having a comparable regulatory regime to Ireland. In the event that your country is neither an EU member or already approved by the Central Bank it is possible to seek approval by way of a formal submission to the Central Bank.

The submission would need to demonstrate that the regulatory regime for asset management in the relevant country is comparable to the prudential regulation regimes approved by the Central Bank.

A non-EU based entity must make an application to the Central Bank. This is done by way of an online application to the Central Bank. The application process is straightforward and is not subject to any charge. In our experience, once the completed application is submitted to the Central Bank in requisite format it can be reviewed and approved within three to four weeks subject to prompt responses from the home regulator to any Central Bank queries.

Practical guide to applicants from Non-EU based asset managers

The applicant must complete the online application process and submit various documents required by the Central Bank. Information concerning the applicant’s background and experience, regulatory information, ownership structure and financial information should be submitted as part of the application. See Appendix 2. The documentation required should include, inter alia:

  • Table detailing assets under management
  • Portfolio Manager’s Curriculum Vitae
  • Audited accounts of applicant
  • Ownership Structure Chart to include details of applicant’s shareholders
  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae of individual shareholders in applicant
  • Audited Accounts of direct parent of applicant
  • Details of services and relevant instrument types for which the applicant has regulatory approval and experience in managing.
  • Summary Fund Details
  • Regulatory status and relevant contact details of the Regulatory Body
  • Applicant's track record in the investment management of investment funds

Other considerations

As mentioned above the Central Bank must be satisfied that the applicant firm is appropriately regulated in its home state and the application must include contact details of the home state competent authority to facilitate the Central Bank reaching out to such authority.

The Central Bank aims to review and issue any request for further information within two weeks of the application being made with each round of comments being provided within a week of every subsequent submission. In our experience, it is the regulator to regulator communication that tends to delay the clearance process and we would encourage any entity making such an application to the Central Bank to separately make contact with their home state competent authority to ensure no unnecessary delays in obtaining clearance.

Once approved to act as discretionary investment manager to Irish domiciled investment funds, the entity must be appointed to the relevant investment fund within 12 months from the date of obtaining clearance by the Central Bank. If this 12 month period expires, the entity will be required to make another application to the Central Bank. Once approved, you should ensure that the Central Bank is made aware of any significant change in ownership, name, registered office or its regulatory status.

An entity, regardless of domicile, providing non-discretionary investment advice is not required to make any application. Overall, the above procedure is a cost effective and efficient way to obtain clearance for non-EU based investment managers seeking appointment to Irish domiciled investment funds. With our extensive experience in having such entities approved by the Central Bank, we would be happy to engage with any interested entity in this regard.

Dillon Eustace
8 June 2020


Abu Dhabi;
Hong Kong;
South Africa;
South Korea;
and the United States.


DISCLAIMER: This document is for information purposes only and does not purport to represent legal advice. If you have any queries or would like further information relating to any of the above matters, please refer to the contacts above or your usual contact in Dillon Eustace.

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