For AIFs and AIFMs managed or marketed in the EEA
By Ben Cook, Managing Director, Ipes UK, November 2014
In our two previous technical updates on Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) reporting we covered who has to report, what to report, and when to report. If you missed these updates or would like to read them again, you can find them on the AIFMD briefings section of our website, www.ipes.com/briefings/aifmd.
This update addresses the question of how Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFMs) authorised in the UK and non-EEA AIFMs marketing in the UK should report to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and addresses some frequently asked questions about AIFMD reporting.
How do I submit the report?
Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFMs) and Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) submit their reports to the FCA using forms AIF001 and AIF002 respectively.
All filings are through GABRIEL, the FCA's online regulatory reporting system.
Access to GABRIEL and forms AIF001 and AIF002 can be found on the FCA website (see links in the Further Resources box below).
How do I produce the report?
The FCA outlines 3 options for reporting:
- manual data entry online
- manual upload of XML format file via a webpage
- direct system-to-system data upload of XML format fileWhilst manual data entry into GABRIEL is possible, the risk for key entry error is higher than the XML format options. Furthermore, AIFMs with multiple parallel AIFs in a single Fund might find a manual process repetitive and cumbersome.There are a small number of software providers who can translate data to XML format, ready for submission. This is the easy part. The challenging part is mapping the 300+ questions in the reporting templates back to the data that AIFMs hold. As with parts of the AIFMD, some of the content is subject to interpretation. In addition, many questions will not be applicable for managers without listed assets and not all questions are mandatory. AIFMs may decide to complete only the mandatory fields for the first submission until practice becomes clearer. This has the advantage of both de-risking the process and reducing its burden.Reporting is a two step process. First the report must be submitted as set out above. Then users access the "Firm Schedule - Reporting Period" screen and change the completion status by clicking submit. It is important to note that reporting is not complete until this second stage is completed.
How do I access GABRIEL?
To access GABRIEL, you will need the following:
- Product Reference Number (PRN) – unique identifier for each authorised AIF
- Firm Reference Number (FRN) - unique identifier for each authorised AIFM
- GABRIEL registration key - a unique user access code
The FCA is rolling out PRN and FRN generation and access to GABRIEL following this order of priority:
- AIFMs required to report for the quarter ending 30 September 2014
- Remainder of full scope UK AIFMs and small authorised AIFMs
- Small registered UK AIFMs, above threshold non-EEA AIFMs and small non-EEA AIFMs marketing in the UK under the UK National Private Placement Regime If you have not been issued a PRN or a FRN, it is possible to submit a report by email to email@example.com. Email submissions will not be accepted once the GABRIEL system is accessible by all AIFMs.
Can I outsource reporting?
Yes, it is possible to outsource different elements of the reporting process. Some AIFMs may prefer to submit the report to regulators themselves, relying on a provider to collate and prepare the data. Others prefer a full service solution where data is prepared, collated and submitted to the regulator following AIFM review.
Q. What is XML format?
A. XML stands for Extensible Markup Language and is a markup language that defines a set of rules with which to annotate a document in order to distinguish the text from the markups. The result is a simple text format that is easily read by humans and computers.
Q. Which XML version do I report in?
A. The FCA is accepting only v1.1 at the current time. Some EEA member states are accepting v1.2 files. The FCA intends to review the versions at a future date which is likely to be after the central regulator ESMA accepts XML files from national regulators.
Q. How do I report in XML format?
A. It is possible to convert data into XML format from other programs, such as Excel, with the help of a developer. The production and submission processes are discussed in this document.
Q. If I am a small registered UK AIFM or a non-EU AIFM marketing in the UK, what do I use to file?
A. Every AIFM will be allocated a Firm Reference Number (FRN), and file to the FCA using the same methodology as full scope UK AIFMs.
Q. Can I file if I do not have both an FRN and PRN(s)?
A. No. Both FRN and PRN(s) are required before AIFMs can file their reports in GABRIEL.
Q. How do I file if cannot access GABRIEL?
A. Until FRN and PRNs are issued in the coming weeks, firms may submit reports in either the XML v1.1 format or using the ESMA consolidated template by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. After FRN and PRNs are issued, firms must report to the FCA via Gabriel using XML v1.1.
Q. To whom do I need to report?
A. Authorised AIFMs must report to their host regulator. Registered AIFMs must also report to the regulator of each jurisdiction to which they are marketing. This will necessitate gaining credentials and accessing each of the relevant regulatory systems in order to submit the file. If you would like to discuss this in greater detail, please give me a call. I would be happy to talk further.
- Ipes AIFMD Reporting technical update 1 – Annex IV
- Ipes AIFMD Reporting technical update 2 – What and When to Report
- ESMA reporting guidelines
- GABRIEL – FCA’s online regulatory reporting system
- FCA Forms AIF001 and AIF002
- FCA questions & answers - Reporting annex IV transparency information to the FCA