The Gold Standard

Author:Mr Andrew Bates
Profession:Dillon Eustace

Originally published in HFMWeek

Figures published recently by the Irish Funds Industry Association (IFIA) show that Ireland is now home to 43% of all European hedge funds, and that the net asset value of funds domiciled within the jurisdiction is just shy of the lofty €1tn ($1.4tn). Growth will not stop here however, as Ireland continues to advance in leaps and bounds, creating new products and international partnerships, explains Andrew Bates of Dillon Eustace.

HFMWeek (HFM): There has been a lot of buzz surrounding the expansion of the Irish alternative investment space in recent months. In what ways has the range of products available in Ireland extended?

Andrew Bates (AB): As a key exporter of funds and financial products on a global scale, Ireland has seen some very interesting developments in recent months. To give a flavour of what has been achieved, one of my colleagues Brian Kelliher worked closely with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi to bring about the first listing of an exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the Persian Gulf. He also worked with a very large UK-based asset manager in establishing an investable hedge fund index product within Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferrable Securities (Ucits). Another partner, Donnacha O'Connor, acted for what is believed to be the first ever merger arbitrage Ucits. We have also been working recently on several hedge fund and credit-related products using qualifying investor funds (QIFs), as well as acting for the first Chinese asset manager approved as a promoter of Irish funds. Ireland is being used by fund promoters from all over the world as a funds domicile, with North American, UK and Asian promoters to the fore and, very recently, we have begun to see quite a few funds being re-domiciled to Ireland from o. shore jurisdictions.

HFM: What makes Ireland an attractive domicile for funds across the spectrum of the alternative investment space?

AB: Ireland is an attractive domicile for both Ucits and non-Ucits funds. The reasons for this are in part historical, as Ireland was quick to introduce the original Ucits directive and a gross roll-up tax arrangement, which means that the fund itself is not taxed in Ireland (Irish investors are, however, subject to tax when they transfer, exit or redeem) and followed that with a domestic regime for a wide range of non-Ucits fund products. . is has led to a large influx of funds, has attracted domestic and international fund administrators...

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