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Does the new Act on Investment Companies and Investment Funds apply to you?

Does the new Act on Investment Companies and Investment Funds apply to you?

20.8.2013 9:26
Autor: Mgr. Ondřej Mikula, KŠB

As such, it may be wise to double check whether it applies to you.

If you manage the assets of more than one investor in accordance with a defined investment strategy, regardless whether this includes corporate investments, investments in real estate or anything else, you may be subject to the New Act. Whereas the former Act on Collective Investments only applied to entities collecting assets from the public, the New Act applies even to entities that invest assets collected through contributions made by a small number of members only.

However, one exception defined in the introduction to the New Act applies to group companies, i.e. companies that collect and invest assets exclusively from investors forming a corporate group with those companies. Entities managing family assets, called family office vehicles, exclusively for the purposes of financing certain research, production or transactions are also excluded.

The New Act will probably have an impact on various developers, private foundations and private equity and venture capital companies managing investment funds created especially to purchase shares in fast developing hi-tech companies. Foreign investment structures will also be affected if their manager or investor has its registered office in the Czech Republic or if the assets in a trust fund are governed by Czech law.

License or registration, otherwise severe sanctions

If you are governed by the New Act, you have two options. If you manage assets whose value exceeds the relevant limit, i.e. EUR 100 million (or EUR 500 million if such assets were acquired without leverage, provided they cannot be divided between investors within five years from collection), you may continue to manage the assets only if you are an investment company or self-governing investment fund holding a license from the Czech National Bank (CNB). This gives rise to a number of obligations such as a duty to prepare the investment fund’s statutes, fulfill certain assets requirements and meet other specific notification duties in relation to the Czech National Bank or your investors.

If you are a below-the-limit manager, i.e. if the assets in your portfolio do not exceed the relevant limit, no license from the CNB is required and you can avoid most of the requirements set forth by the New Act. You must, however, submit an application to be entered into a special register held by the CNB and fulfill certain notification duties.

It is advisable to keep an eye on the above duties. In cases where the assets are managed without having been entered in the CNB’s register or without a license, the manager (company) could be wound up and fined up to CZK 10 million. 

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