Canadian “Alternative Funds” Proposal Would Offer Hedge Fund Managers Access to Retail Investor Market

Securities regulation in Canada, including the regulation of mutual fund products, is the responsibility of each individual province and territory. Offering a mutual fund product in Canada, therefore, may require compliance with multiple regulatory schemes administered by different authorities. Over the past several years, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) have implemented a modernization project for mutual funds that are prospectus qualified and offered to the retail public (conventional mutual funds). In September 2016, the CSA issued a request for comment regarding a proposal to create a new regulatory framework pursuant to which “Alternative Funds” can be offered broadly to retail investors. In a guest article, Norton Rose Fulbright partners Michael Bunn and Mark A. Convery describe how the proposal would transform the Canadian market by expanding the investments and strategies that may be pursued by mutual funds and by making these funds available to investors that do not otherwise meet the sophistication criteria for investing in Canadian hedge funds. For more on the current regulatory environment in Canada, see our two-part series on “How U.S. Managers Can Raise Capital in Canada While Complying With Local Laws”: Part One (Apr. 27, 2017); and Part Two (May 4, 2017). For a discussion of the current regulatory environment in Canada, see “Fund Managers Looking to Canadian Market Must Be Aware of Nuances of Canada’s Regulatory Regime” (May 18, 2017).

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