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Cross Border Investment Funds Handbook, the Netherlands

Snel & Van Angeren, 2009

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Retail funds

1. Please give a brief overview of the retail funds market in your jurisdiction. (How developed is the market? Has it been active in the past year?)

Open-ended retail funds

The open-ended retail fund market in The Netherlands is well es- tablished and developed. Retail funds are divided into two main types:
– investment companies (beleggingsmaatschappijen). This is an investment institution (beleggingsinstelling) with legal personality.
– investment funds (beleggingsfondsen). This is an invest- ment institution without legal personality.

Unlike an investment fund, an investment company is not obliged to have a separate management company (beheerder). In this chapter, the term manager refers either to the management com- pany of an investment fund or investment company or, where an investment company does not have its own management com- pany, the investment company itself.

Closed-ended retail funds

The closed-ended fund industry market underwent substantial regulatory change on 1 July 2005 with the implementation of the Directive 2003/71/EC on the prospectus to be published when securities are offered to the public or admitted to trading (Pro- spectus Directive). It was implemented in the predecessor of the FMSA and later in the FMSA itself (see Question 3, Closed-ended retail funds).

Closed-ended retail fund are organised in the same way as open- ended retail funds (see above, Open-ended retail funds). The of- fering of participation rights in open-ended funds is not subject to the Prospectus Directive

2. What are the key statutes, regulations and rules that govern retail funds in your jurisdiction? What regulatory bodies are involved in regulating retail funds?

Open-ended and closed-ended retail funds

Both open-ended and closed-ended retail funds which offer their participation rights in The Netherlands are governed by the Financial Markets Supervision Act (Wet op het financieel toezicht) (FMSA) unless an exception, exemption or dispensation applies (see Question 3).

The Dutch supervisory authorities involved in supervising funds are:

the netherlands Authority for the financial Markets (Stichting Autoriteit Financiële Markten) (AFM). The AFM is responsible for the so called supervision of conduct of business, which focuses on providing:

– orderly and transparent financial market processes;
– transparency between market participants;
-due care in the treatment of customers.

the Dutch Central Bank (De Nederlandsche Bank) (DNB).
The DNB is responsible for so called prudential supervision. This aims to ensure the financial stability of financial firms (financiële ondernemingen), which includes invest- ment funds, and the financial sector. It also focuses on the liquidity and solvency of investment funds.

3. do the retail funds themselves have to be authorised or li- censed? if so, what are the main steps involved?

Open-ended retail funds

licensing. Units in a retail fund cannot be offered to investors unless its manager has been licensed by the AFM (FMSA). Mar- keting and advertising a possible offering of units in a retail fund may qualify as an actual offering.

When a licence is required the following rules, among others, ap- ply to the application process and subsequent offering:
– All information provided by the manager must be factually accurate, comprehensive and not misleading. – The manager of the retail fund must consist of at least two qualified and reliable persons, operating mainly in The Netherlands.
– The manager of the retail fund must issue a detailed prospectus containing an auditor’s statement that the retail fund has observed the relevant legislation in drafting the prospectus. The prospectus for open-ended retail funds is not subject to the AFM’s approval.

– The units in the retail fund can only be offered once the licence has been obtained.
– The AFM must be satisfied that the retail fund’s organisa- tion is fully operative and in compliance the FMSA.
– The advertising of the retail fund must comply with the FMSA.
– The retail fund must publish annual and semi-annual finan- cial statements.
– Certain fees are due to the AFM.
– The manager of the retail fund must maintain a website for the fund (see Question 12).
– The manager of the retail fund must publish a financial information leaflet (financiële bijsluiter) which must, among other things, include:
o the nature and purpose of the fund;
o the financial risks with respect to the units; and
o the tax aspects regarding the units.

– The fund must follow certain rules regarding risk indicators.
– Legal title to the assets, for investment funds, must be held by a separate legal entity as trustee (bewaarder).
– The manager of the retail fund must satisfy certain periodic reporting requirements to investors and regulators (see Question 12).

For undertakings for collective investment in transferable secu- rities (UCITS), a more extensive licensing regime applies. The rules set by UCITS III are all implemented in the FMSA.

It takes at least three months to obtain a licence from the AFM.

Exemptions. A licence is not required if one of the following ex- ceptions or exemptions applies:
– Offerings of units solely to qualified investors (as defined in FMSA) including pension funds, investment funds, banks and other institutional investors.
– Offerings of units to less than 100 persons, who are not qualified investors.
– Offerings of units in a retail fund with an individual denomi- nation of at least EUR50,000 (about US$70,214).
– Offerings of units in a retail fund which can only be ac- quired for a total consideration of at least EUR50,000 per investor.

The amounts of EUR50,000 must be contributed to the retail fund, as committed capital does not qualify towards the relevant exemption. In addition, an offer of units in a retail fund under an exception or exemption must be accompanied by a warning statement that (FMSA):

– The fund and its manager do not require a licence and are not supervised by the AFM.
– The person who offers units in the fund does not require a licence and is not supervised by the AFM.

Offerings of units in retail funds from countries accredited by the Dutch Minister of Finance as having adequate supervision of investment institutions (beleggingsinstellingen) are also exempt (FMSA). Current accredited countries are:

– France.
– UK.
– Luxembourg.
– Guernsey.
– US.
– Ireland.
– ersey.
– Malta.

Exemptions also apply for:

– Foreign investment firms using the European passport system.
– Foreign UCITS offering their units using the European UCITS-passport system.

Closed-ended retail funds

The licence requirements are mainly the same as for open-ended retail funds (see above, Open-ended retail funds) except for the requirement to have a financial information leaflet and the rules regarding risk indicators.

In addition to the licensing requirement, a closed-ended retail fund with transferable units must prepare a prospectus that meets the requirements of the Prospectus Directive (as imple- mented by the FMSA).

4. Who can market retail funds?

Open-ended retail funds

A retail fund can be marketed by its manager or any person li- censed as an investment firm (beleggingsonderneming) under the Market in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) as implement- ed in the FMSA or under an EU MiFID passport.

Closed-ended retail funds

This is the same as for open-ended retail funds (see above, Open- ended retail funds).

5. to whom can retail funds be marketed?

Open-ended retail funds

Retail funds can be marketed to:
– Dutch public customers.
– Dutch institutional investors.
– Foreign public or institutional customers, provided that lo- cal laws are complied with.

Closed-ended retail funds

This is the same as for open-ended retail funds (see above, Open- ended retail funds).

6. What are the key requirements that apply to managers/opera- tors of retail funds?

Open-ended retail funds

If the manager has a licence and is supervised by the AFM and the DNB (see Question 3), there is a minimum capital require- ment for the manager of:
– EUR225,000 (US$315,963) if the assets under management consist of more than EUR250 million (US$351 million).
– EUR125,000 (US$175,535) if the assets under manage- ment consist of less than EUR250 million.

For investment funds, the legal person that holds the legal title to the assets as trustee is subject to a capital requirement of EUR112,500 (about US$157,982).

In practice, the AFM requires that managers of supervised funds have at least two years’ relevant experience working in an institu- tion that is supervised by the government (for example a bank, insurance company or licensed investment institution). Integrity rules also apply.

Closed-ended retail funds

This is the same as for open-ended retail funds (see above, Open- ended retail funds).

7. Who holds the portfolio of assets? What regulations are in place for its protection?

Open-ended retail funds

Investment funds under supervision. A manager administering an investment fund (beleggingsfonds) must ensure that the legal title of the investment fund’s assets are acquired for the benefit of the unitholders by a trustee (FMSA). This is to keep the fund’s assets (of which the investors are the beneficiaries) separate from the manager’s assets.

Where the investment fund’s assets are held by a trustee, the manager must conclude a written management and custody agreement with the trustee. Rules enacted under the FMSA gov- ern the content of the agreement.

Only a legal person, whose sole object according to its articles of association is to hold assets and administer the goods in which an investment fund invests, can act as a trustee of a retail fund.

Investment companies. An investment company has legal per- sonality, which implies a separation of the assets of the invest- ment company and the board of the investment company (Book 2, Dutch Civil Code). Therefore, it is not obliged to appoint a trustee that holds the legal title to the investment company’s as- sets. However, if an investment company voluntarily chooses to appoint a trustee, this trustee is subject to the usual require- ments (see above, Investment funds under supervision).

Closed-ended retail funds

This is the same as for open-ended retail funds (see above, Open- ended retail funds).

8. What are the main legal vehicles used to set up a retail fund and what are the key advantages and disadvantages of using these structures? What are the participants’ interests in the fund called (for example, share or unit)?

Open-ended retail funds

– The following legal vehicles are used for retail funds:
– Private company (besloten vennootschap met beperkte aansprakelijkheid) (BV).
– Public company (naamloze vennootschap) (NV).
– Limited partnership (commanditaire vennootschap) (CV).
– Fund for joint account (fonds voor gemene rekening) (FGR).

Only the BV and the NV have legal personality. A CV can opt for legal personality under the new law on partnerships (personen- vennootschappen) which should come into force in 2009.

In general, the contractual forms such as the CV and the FGR are more flexible than the corporate forms. This is especially relevant for distribution mechanisms. The corporate forms usually involve common and preferred shares.

Investors in CVs must avoid becoming involved in the manage- ment of the CV otherwise they will assume liability. If the limited partner’s name appears in the name of the CV, the limited partner will assume liability.

The FMSA refers to participants’ interests in funds as participa- tion rights of units (rechten van deelneming).

Closed-ended retail funds

This is the same as for open-ended retail funds (see above, Open- ended retail funds).

9. describe the investment and borrowing restrictions to which retail funds are subject.

Open-ended retail funds

Retail funds are not subject to any statutory restrictions on their ability to invest or borrow, other than UCITS under EC legislation implemented in the FMSA.

In addition, open-ended supervised funds must have a perma- nent liquidity of 10% of the net asset value (FMSA).

Closed-ended retail funds

Except for the liquidity requirement, this is the same as for open- ended retail funds (see above, Open-ended retail funds).

10. Can the manager/operator place any restrictions on the issue and redemption of interests in retail funds?

Open-ended retail funds

There are no regulations preventing investors in open-ended retail funds from redeeming their units at any time. However, redemp- tions and the issuances of units are governed by a fund’s terms and conditions, and there may be further rules in a prospectus. Under these terms and conditions, therefore, the manager can restrict the issue (for example, as to the nature of potential investors in the fund) or redemption of interests (for example, suspension events).

In applying any limitations, open-ended retail funds must ensure that all unitholders are treated equally (FMSA). In addition, if too many restrictions are placed on the redemptions of units of an open-ended fund it may have to be reclassified as closed-ended.

If the manager suspends the repurchase or redemption of units in a retail fund, it must immediately notify the AFM and, in the case of a UCITS, the supervisory authorities of every member state in which its units are traded (FMSA).

There must be sufficient safeguards to ensure that, except for statutory requirements and the suspension events set out above, units can be directly or indirectly redeemed against the assets of the fund on request (FMSA).

The Euronext Amsterdam by NYSE Euronext (Euronext) trading system for open-ended investment also provides for some regu- lations. The AFM has stated that the trading system applies to all supervised open-ended investment institutions irrespective of whether their participation rights are traded on Euronext. The most important requirement is that the fund must allow only one trading moment per day, thereby using the system of forward pricing and calculating costs against the intrinsic value of the fund with only limited surcharges being allowed in respect of the costs involved with redemptions in the fund being made from time to time.

Closed-ended retail funds

Unlike units of open-ended retail funds, units of closed-ended re- tail funds are not directly or indirectly re-purchased or redeemed on request of their holders at the expense of the fund’s assets.

The manager of a closed-ended retail fund can include restric- tions on the issuance of units in the terms and conditions and the prospectus of the fund (see above, Open-ended retail funds).

11. describe any restrictions on the rights of participants in retail funds to transfer or assign their interests to third parties.

Open-ended retail funds

There are no restrictions on the rights of participants in retail funds to transfer or assign their interests to third parties, unless made by the manager in the fund’s terms and conditions and prospectus.

The Dutch Civil Code (DCC) provides for mandatory rules on transfers involving investment companies, depending on the type of entity being used. For example, a civil law notary is required for the transfer of shares in BVs and NVs.

Closed-ended retail funds

This is the same as for open-ended retail funds (see above, Open- ended retail funds).

12. describe the periodic reporting requirements to:
– investors.
– Regulators.

Open-ended retail funds
investors. The following reporting requirements must be made in
relation to investors:

– Proposed changes to terms and conditions. The manager
of a retail fund must announce any proposed change to the terms and conditions governing its relationship with the unitholders. This must be done by placing an advertisement in a nationally distributed daily newspaper (or by written communication to each unitholder) and on its website (see below, Website). The manager must also provide an expla- nation of the proposal on its website.

The change in the terms and conditions cannot become effective until three months after the announcement date (giving the unitholders the opportunity to sell their units) if either:
o it results in a reduction of the rights and securities of the unitholders or imposes (additional or higher) costs on them;
o it reflects a change in the investment policy.

-Financial reporting. The manager of a retail fund must publish its annual accounts, an annual report and certain other information listed in the DCC within four months of the end of the financial year.

9. describe the investment and borrowing restrictions to which retail funds are subject.

Open-ended retail funds

Retail funds are not subject to any statutory restrictions on their ability to invest or borrow, other than UCITS under EC legislation implemented in the FMSA.

In addition, open-ended supervised funds must have a perma- nent liquidity of 10% of the net asset value (FMSA).

Closed-ended retail funds

Except for the liquidity requirement, this is the same as for open- ended retail funds (see above, Open-ended retail funds).

10. Can the manager/operator place any restrictions on the issue and redemption of interests in retail funds?

Open-ended retail funds

There are no regulations preventing investors in open-ended retail funds from redeeming their units at any time. However, redemp- tions and the issuances of units are governed by a fund’s terms and conditions, and there may be further rules in a prospectus. Under these terms and conditions, therefore, the manager can restrict the issue (for example, as to the nature of potential investors in the fund) or redemption of interests (for example, suspension events).

In applying any limitations, open-ended retail funds must ensure that all unitholders are treated equally (FMSA). In addition, if too many restrictions are placed on the redemptions of units of an open-ended fund it may have to be reclassified as closed-ended.

If the manager suspends the repurchase or redemption of units in a retail fund, it must immediately notify the AFM and, in the case of a UCITS, the supervisory authorities of every member state in which its units are traded (FMSA).

There must be sufficient safeguards to ensure that, except for statutory requirements and the suspension events set out above, units can be directly or indirectly redeemed against the assets of the fund on request (FMSA).

The Euronext Amsterdam by NYSE Euronext (Euronext) trading system for open-ended investment also provides for some regu- lations. The AFM has stated that the trading system applies to all supervised open-ended investment institutions irrespective of whether their participation rights are traded on Euronext. The most important requirement is that the fund must allow only one trading moment per day, thereby using the system of forward pricing and calculating costs against the intrinsic value of the fund with only limited surcharges being allowed in respect of the costs involved with redemptions in the fund being made from time to time.

Closed-ended retail funds

Unlike units of open-ended retail funds, units of closed-ended re- tail funds are not directly or indirectly re-purchased or redeemed on request of their holders at the expense of the fund’s assets.

The manager of a closed-ended retail fund can include restric- tions on the issuance of units in the terms and conditions and the prospectus of the fund (see above, Open-ended retail funds).

11. describe any restrictions on the rights of participants in retail funds to transfer or assign their interests to third parties.

Open-ended retail funds

There are no restrictions on the rights of participants in retail funds to transfer or assign their interests to third parties, unless made by the manager in the fund’s terms and conditions and prospectus.

The Dutch Civil Code (DCC) provides for mandatory rules on transfers involving investment companies, depending on the type of entity being used. For example, a civil law notary is required for the transfer of shares in BVs and NVs.

Closed-ended retail funds

This is the same as for open-ended retail funds (see above, Open- ended retail funds).

12. describe the periodic reporting requirements to:
investors.
Regulators.

Open-ended retail funds
investors. The following reporting requirements must be made in relation to investors:

Proposed changes to terms and conditions. The manager of a retail fund must announce any proposed change to the terms and conditions governing its relationship with the unitholders. This must be done by placing an advertisement in a nationally distributed daily newspaper (or by written communication to each unitholder) and on its website (see below, Website). The manager must also provide an expla- nation of the proposal on its website.

The change in the terms and conditions cannot become effective until three months after the announcement date (giving the unitholders the opportunity to sell their units) if either:

o it results in a reduction of the rights and securities of the unitholders or imposes (additional or higher) costs on them;
o it reflects a change in the investment policy.

financial reporting. The manager of a retail fund must pub- lish its annual accounts, an annual report and certain other information listed in the DCC within four months of the end of the financial year.

Monthly statements. The retail fund’s manager must prepare a statement every month, with explanatory notes, setting out:
o the total value of the fund’s investments;
o the composition of the fund’s investments;
0 the number of outstanding units issued by the fund; andprovided that it concerns an open-ended retail fund, the most recent net asset value of the units, stating the mo- ment when this net asset value was determined.

Website. The manager of a retail fund must maintain and control a website containing (FMSA):
o its licence;
o the registration statement;
o a financial information leaflet (see Question 3);
o all information regarding the retail fund and, if appli- cable, its manager and its trustee which must be kept with the relevant Chamber of Commerce and Industry; proposed changes of the retail fund’s terms and conditions (see above, Proposed changes to terms and conditions);
o the semi-annual and annual reports (see above, Finan- cial reporting);
o the intrinsic value of the units, to be determined by the manager whenever it offers, purchases or redeems these units, stating the date on which these intrinsic value was determined;
o the monthly statements (see above, Monthly state- ments).
o The website must state that a copy of the information will be provided on request and any costs involved.

Regulators. The following reporting requirements must be made in relation to regulators:

Proposed changes to terms and conditions. An announce- ment of any proposed changes to the terms and conditions (see above, Open-ended retail funds: Investors) must be simultaneously made to the AFM.

financial reporting. A retail fund must prepare annual accounts, an annual report and certain other information listed in the DCC and submit them to the AFM, within four months of the end of the financial year.

Within nine weeks of the end of the first half of the financial year, the retail fund must submit its half-yearly figures to the AFM. The Dutch Conduct of Business Decree (Besluit Gedragstoezicht financiële ondernemingen Wft) (Conduct of Business Decree) sets out requirements relating to:

o the information to be included in the explanatory notes to the balance sheet and the profit and loss account;
o information to be included in the semi-annual ac- counts.

The fund’s auditors must inform the AFM about any items which may not comply with the FMSA.

Closed-ended retail funds

investors. This is the same as for open-ended retail funds (see

above, Open-ended retail funds: Investors).

Regulators. This is the same as for open-ended retail funds (see

above, Open-ended retail funds: Regulators).

13. describe the tax treatment for:
funds.
Resident investors.
non-resident investors.

Open-ended retail funds

funds. Two special corporate income tax regimes exist for open- ended retail funds: the exempt investment fund and the fiscal in- vestment fund. It is in theory also possible to use a tax transparent fund as an open-ended fund:

exempt investment fund. An exempt investment fund is fully exempt of corporate income tax and distributions are not sub- ject to withholding tax. The main requirements are:
o the fund must be open-ended;
o the fund’s activities must be limited to passive investment in financial instruments;
o the fund must be a vehicle for collective investment (that is, it must have more than one investor/participant);
the fund must have the legal form of an NV (corporation) or open fund for joint account (unincorporated fund) or a similar type of foreign entity.

fiscal investment fund. A fiscal investment fund is subject to corporate income tax at a rate of 0% and distributions are subject to withholding tax (15% unless reduced by a treaty). The main requirements are:
o he fund must distribute its taxable profit within eight months of the year end;
o the fund’s activities must be limited to passive investment;
o the fund must have the legal form of an NV (corporation), BV (company) or open fund for joint account (unincorpo- rated fund) or a similar type of foreign entity;
o the fund must observe a 20% borrowing limit (60% for mortgage loans);
o detailed shareholders’ requirements apply, which are dif- ferent for licensed and unlicensed funds.
o a fiscal investment fund can only have one class of participations;
o certain restrictions apply for appointing directors and supervisory directors.

tax transparent fund. A tax transparent fund is not seen as a person for corporate income tax and dividend withhold- ing tax purposes. It is referred to as a closed fund for joint account. The main requirements are:
o it must be an unincorporated fund and not a limited partnership;
o participations cannot be transferred to any person other than the fund itself or family members;
o the issue and (re)purchase of participations by the fund itself can be without the consent of the partici- pants.

In practice, tax transparent funds are rarely used for retail funds.

Resident investors. The following regulations apply:

General. A full credit applies for any resident withholding tax on dividends received for all types of Dutch investors (including Dutch tax exempt investors), except for exempt investment funds and fiscal investment funds. The latter can apply a kind of ordinary credit against the Dutch divi- dend withholding tax on their distributions.

If an interest is held in a tax transparent fund, the assets and liabilities are pro rata allocated to the participants and taxed accordingly.

Certain entities, including qualifying pension funds and ex- empt investment funds, are exempt from corporate income tax and consequently do not pay tax on income and gains from their participations in investment funds.

individuals. Individuals − unless they have a so-called substantial interest or hold the fund participations as busi- ness assets − are taxed on their investments on the basis of a deemed return of 4% of the average of their net wealth at the start and the ended of the year. This deemed return is taxed at 30%, which means they effectively pay 1.2% of the net wealth, irrespective of the actual income gains, losses and expenses.

Individuals holding a substantial interest are subject to 25% on the actual income gains, losses and expenses from their shares. If they hold a substantial interest in an exempt investment fund, the annual income is deemed to be at least 4%. Summarised, a substantial interest is held, if − together with certain family members − at least 5% of the participations or a class of participations is held.

entities and businesses. Corporations, companies, other entities and individuals holding the interest as business asset are generally taxed on the actual income gains, losses and expenses. The general corporate income tax rate is 25.5% and the highest income tax rate is 52%. If an entity holds an interest of at least 5% and the assets of the fund are for at least 90% real estate, the participation exemption may apply. Certain entities (for example pension funds) are exempt from or not subject to corporate income tax.

non-resident investors. The following regulations apply:

General. On distributions, including distributions to non- residents, by a fiscal investment fund, a 15% withholding tax is applied. Generally there is no refund; however under certain conditions an exempt entity residing within the EU or the US can obtain a full refund.

Non-residents, not having a permanent establishment in The Netherlands, are not subject to income tax (individu- als) or corporate income tax (entities) on income and gains from a participation in a Dutch exempt investment fund or a Dutch fiscal investment fund, unless they hold a so-called substantial interest and that interest is not held as a busi- ness asset.

As an exception, a substantial interest in a Dutch exempt investment fund held by non-resident does not lead to
tax liability. If subject to Dutch taxation, a rate of 25.5% (entities) or 25% (individuals) applies. If liable to Dutch (corporate) income tax, a full credit for dividend withholding tax applies.

If an interest is held in a Dutch tax transparent fund, the assets and liabilities are pro rata allocated to the partici- pants and taxed accordingly.

tax transparent fund. If a Dutch or foreign tax transparent fund holds Dutch real property directly, non-resident inves- tors in that fund are liable to Dutch income tax or corporate income tax. Their tax treatment is similar to the tax treat- ment of Dutch residents.

Closed-ended retail funds

funds. For closed-ended retail investment funds, in prac- tice only the fiscal investment fund can be used (see above, Open-ended retail fund: Funds).

Resident investors. The tax treatment of resident investors in a fiscal investment fund is discussed above (see above, Open-ended retail funds: Resident investors).

non-resident investors. The tax treatment of non-resident investors in a fiscal investment fund is discussed above (see above, Open-ended retail funds: Non-resident investors).

14. Please summarise any proposals for the reform of retail fund regulation in your jurisdiction.

The Dutch Fund and Asset Management Association (DUFAS) promotes the collective interests of asset managers operating in and from The Netherlands. In February 2008, DUFAS published the Principles of Fund Governance which proposes establishing several market principles to improve the governance of manage- ment companies of funds. The Dutch Minister of Finance has endorsed these suggestions.

A new law on partnerships (personenvennootschappen) is expect- ed to come into force in the course of 2009. This proposed law may be relevant for funds structured in the form of a partnership (vennootschap) (see Question 8).

Hedge funds

15. Please give a brief overview of the hedge funds market in your jurisdiction. (How developed is the market? Has it been active in the past year?)

This is the same as for retail funds (see Question 1).

16. What are the key statutes and regulations that govern hedge funds in your jurisdiction? What regulatory bodies are in- volved in regulating hedge funds?

This is the same as for retail funds (see Question 2).

17. How are the following areas regulated (if at all) in relation to hedge funds:

Risk.
Valuation and pricing.
systems and controls.
insider dealing and market abuse.
transparency.
Money laundering.

Regulations for hedge funds in these areas are largely found in the FMSA and are the same as for retail funds.

Risk. The prospectuses of supervised retail funds and hedge funds must contain specific language on risks involved with investing in the fund.

Valuation and pricing. The FMSA contains specific rules on valuation and pricing.

systems and controls. The FMSA contains specific rules on the fund’s internal organisation aimed at, among other things, controlling risks, valuation and pricing, and know your customer (KYC) requirements.

insider dealing and market abuse. The FMSA contains extensive market-abuse rules (such as the prohibition of insider trading, tipping off and market manipulation).

transparency. The conduct of business supervision by the AFM focuses on, among other things, orderly and transpar- ent financial market processes and clear relations between market participants (see Question 2).

Money laundering. Hedge funds must verify the identity of any investors and check and monitor their risk profile for anti-money laundering purposes. Non-supervised funds only have to verify the identity of the investors.

Many hedge funds use an exception and/or exemption from the relevant prohibitions of the FMSA (see Question 3). As a result, these hedge funds can operate in the Netherlands without being supervised.

18. Who can market hedge funds?

This is the same as for retail funds (see Question 4).

19. to whom can hedge funds be marketed?

This is the same as for retail funds (see Question 5).

20. Who holds the portfolio of assets? What regulations are in place for its protection?

This is the same as for retail funds (see Question 7).

21. describe the key disclosure or filing requirements (if any) that must be done by the fund (for example, in relation to the prospectus or offering memorandum and side letters).

This is the same as for retail funds (see Question 3).

22. What are the key requirements that apply to managers/opera- tors of hedge funds?

This is the same as for retail funds (see Question 6).

23. What are the main legal vehicles used to set up a hedge fund and what are the key advantages and disadvantages of using these structures? What are the participants’ interests in the fund called (for example, share or unit)?

This is the same as for retail funds (see Question 8).

24. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using onshore and offshore structures?

From a tax perspective, setting up a fund in The Netherlands may be just as attractive as setting up a fund in an offshore jurisdiction (see Questions 13). In addition, The Netherlands has an excellent reputation as an international business centre with a solid legal and supervisory infrastructure. The Netherlands also has an extensive tax treaty network.

25. describe the tax treatment for:
funds.
Resident investors.
non-resident investors.

This is the same as for retail funds (see Question 13).

26. Can participants redeem their interest? Are there any restric- tions on the right of participants to transfer their interests to third parties?

This is the same as for retail funds (see Questions 10 and 11).

27. Please summarise any proposals for the reform of hedge fund regulation in your jurisdiction.

In light of the current exceptional market circumstances, the AFM has adopted more extensive measures in respect of short positions in shares of certain Dutch financial institutions (Dutch Financials) of which shares are admitted to trading on NYSE Euronext Amsterdam. These measures replace the short selling measures previously issued by the AFM. The new short selling measures consist of:

– A prohibition on creating a net short position, or increase an existing net short position, in any of the Dutch Financials.
– A notification obligation for net short positions of 0.25% or more of the capital of any of the Dutch Financials.

The prohibition and disclosure measures apply to both covered and uncovered short positions. At this moment, it is unclear whether:

– These provisions against short selling will be extended.
– The scope of these provisions will be changed.
– Other similar measures will be enacted if the current provisions cease to have effect.