Retail investor access to funds of hedge funds has moved a step closer with the announcement from the Financial Services Authority that it intends to pursue its aim of introducing regulated funds of alternative investment funds (Faifs).
The FSA has been consulting on plans to increase access to hedge funds for several years, but first introduced the Faif idea in March last year. A further round of consultation is now under way and is set to run until May 22, after which the FSA will then finalise the draft rules in light of the responses and publish a policy statement giving feedback towards the end of the year.
This will set out the finalised rules for Faifs as whole and the date on which they will come into effect.
The FSA is keen to stress that Faifs are not a completely new structure, but will fall under the non-Ucits retail scheme (Nurs).
One of the sticking points in the Faifs consultation to date has been their tax treatment, as under present rules any gains would be taxed as income whether they were crystallised or not. The Treasury has indicated it is willing to change this so that a chargeable event only occurs when an investor makes a redemption.
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