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Economic substance discussed at AIMA event

End of year event: AIMA executive committee members Ben Wright, left, chairman of education sub-committee; Laura Knox, chairwoman of events sub-committee; Sarah Demerling, executive committee deputy chairwoman; and Craig Bridgewater, executive committee chairman (Photograph supplied)

Proposed changes to the investment fund regime have been discussed by the members of Alternative Investment Management Association Bermuda.Economic substance guidance notes and the economic substance regulations are expected to be released before December 31, following the passing of amendments to Bermuda’s Economic Substance Act.That was a focus of the association’s year-end industry review and holiday reception.“We are pleased to discuss the proposed changes to Bermuda’s economic substance legislation with our industry counterparts,” Ifor Hughes, deputy director of policy at the Bermuda Monetary Authority, said. He was a speaker at the event. Mr Hughes added: “We have made some needed amendments to our economic substance and investment funds regimes in response to initiatives by the OECD and EU Code of Conduct Group. These amendments position Bermuda to continue to be a respected, appropriately regulated international financial centre. We expect 2020 to be an equally busy and challenging year, as we continue to build out the regulations and guidance notes to support the economic substance regimes.”Another speaker was Michael Frith, adviser to the Registrar of Companies, and who has been actively engaged supporting it as it assumes the role of regulator of reporting entities under the economic substance framework.He said: “The amendment acts have been developed following extensive consultation by the Bermuda Government with the OECD and EU Code of Conduct Group and are in furtherance of the implementation by Bermuda of legislation that embraces a global initiative to combat base erosion and profit sharing.”AIMA Bermuda has worked with industry and the BMA to ensure Bermuda took steps to comply with the EU’s assessment of collective investment vehicle regimes. It said that, as a result, legislative amendments due to come in to force on January 1, “will bring into scope closed ended investment vehicles and overseas investment funds that are managed or promoted in or from Bermuda, in line with the approaches taken in other overseas territories and Crown Dependencies”.Craig Bridgewater, who is stepping down as chairman of the AIMA Bermuda’s executive committee after a three-year term, expressed gratitude to the BMA and Registrar of Companies for their engagement with the association.Sarah Demerling will succeed Mr Bridgewater. She is a Partner at Walkers (Bermuda) Limited, and said: “Craig has done an amazing job to lead the AIMA network in Bermuda to where it is today and we thank him for all of his hard work. “I have always been very passionate about the asset management industry in Bermuda. We have a robust funds offering and it is very pleasing to have the support of the wider AIMA network as we continue to grow our local membership and activities.“I am absolutely delighted to take on the role of chair, but recognise that none of the events, educational programmes and industry engagement would be possible without the dedication of the executive committee who have worked tirelessly this year.”She said 2019 saw a visit from Jiri Krol, AIMA deputy chief executive officer and head of Government Affairs and local representation at the AIMA Canada Investor Forum in Toronto. Mrs Demerling added: “In 2020, I am keen for us to further deepen our working relationship with the AIMA group locally and internationally and continue to tell Bermuda’s story.”The AIMA event was sponsored by Wakefield Quinn.AIMA Bermuda welcomes members from the accounting, legal and banking, fund management and administration, and the ILS industry sectors. Through its global industry initiatives including advocacy, policy and regulatory engagement, educational programmes and sound practice guides. Industry members can e-mail bermuda@aima.org for details on AIMA Bermuda membership and to attend 2020 educational sessions.