Oneworld Global Business Services


BVI Approved Fund Manager Regime: An Easy and Straightforward Way for Fund Management
The BVI Approved Fund Manager regime introduced in 2012, has become increasingly attractive for start-ups as well as small and medium-sized fund managers in recent years.
A more straightforward and less onerous regulatory regime was put in place for investment managers and advisers, allowing them to manage funds in the BVI, other offshore jurisdictions, as well as the leading onshore jurisdictions.
Key benefits of BVI Approved Fund Manager regime

  • A quick setup process, where a fund manager can commence business seven days after applying
  • Fast track approval processes, where an applicant for approved manager status can typically expect approval within two weeks of application
  • An easy and straightforward process for the prospective fund manager to complete and submit a standard application form and supporting documents, noting that the document burden is not onerous
  • Lighter regulations and filings despite the approved manager being a regulated entity
  • Lower cost to set up, making it ideal for startup and small to medium-sized managers
How to obtain approval
Firstly, the applicant must be a limited company or a partnership registered in the BVI. It should be set up to manage or intend to manage a BVI fund.
Secondly, an application must be submitted to the BVI Financial Services Commission at least 7 days before starting business. Together with the application, the following documents must be provided:

  • copy of the entity's constitutional documents
  • details of each principal (ie director, senior officer, etc.), and of each major owner (ie person or persons holding a significant interest in the manager)
  • written declaration by the entity that each principal and person holding a significant interest is fit and proper
  • number and details of the funds for which the manager intends to act
  • date the manager intends to commence business
  • copy of the investment advisory or investment management agreement between the manager and the funds for which the manager will act
  • written confirmation as to which individual will be carrying out the day-to-day investment business functions of the manager
  • details of any delegation of business functions
  • written confirmation from the entity's legal practitioner
  • declaration of completeness of the application
Thirdly, the applicant must pass the FSC’s “fit and proper” test for each director or general partner and senior officers and persons who hold significant interests in the applicant.
What activities can be conducted
An approved manager is permitted to act as an investment manager or investment adviser to any of the following:

  • BVI private or professional funds
  • BVI closed-ended funds (including trusts) with characteristics of a BVI private or professional fund
  • An affiliate of any of the fund structures referred to above
  • Such other persons approved by the FSC on a case by case basis
  • Any fund from any recognized* jurisdiction that has equivalent characteristics to a BVI private or professional fund
(*Recognized jurisdictions include Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Bermuda, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Curacao, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and the USA).

Given the lighter regulatory, simpler application process and less documentation requirements, there have been more than 300 approved fund managers set up since 2012. For more information, please feel free to contact us.

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