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Alternative investment funds (AIF) and undertakings for the collective investment in tradeable securities (UCITS)


An alternative investment fund is an investment company or an investment fund. It offers opportunities to take part in a fund for collective investment, in order to have the unit-holders share in the proceeds of the investments. Current European law distinguishes two types of collective investment vehicles: undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS) and collective investment institutions that do not qualify as UCITS (alternative investment funds or AIFs). The UCITS Directive regulates (managers of one or more) UCITS. The AIFM Directive regulates managers of one or more AIFs. In the Netherlands, the authorising authority for both types of investment vehicles is the AFM. DNB advises the AFM as to whether an investment vehicle meets the prudential requirements of the Financial Supervision Act (Wft).

Published: 15 November 2013


An undertaking for collective investment in transferable securities or UCITS is a collective investment vehicle that raises capital from the public and invests it, with due regard to specific restrictions on investments and diversification requirements. The characteristics of a UCITS have been set down in the UCITS Directive (2009/65/EC). The main features are, put briefly:

  • the capital is invested in liquid financial assets
  • under application of the principle of risk-spreading
  • it is an open-ended undertaking
  • and that it acquires funds to be invested from the public.

In principle, a collective investment vehicle that does not qualify as a UCITS is designated as an AIF.


An alternative investment fund (AIF) is:

  • an institution for collective investment that
  • raises capital from multiple investors,
  • for the purpose of investing that capital in the interest of the investors,
  • in accordance with a specified investment policy, and
  • does not require authorisation under the UCITS Directive (2009/65/EC).

Managers of collective investment vehicles

A manager is defined as one that pursues the business of managing one or more AIFss or UCITS. An AIFs or UCITS may be managed either internally, in the case of an investment company, or externally, in the case of an investment fund.


In the Netherlands, it is prohibited to market a participation right in a collective investment vehicle unless the manager of the investment vehicle holds the appropriate authorisation. For managers of investment vehicles, the authorising body is the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) For more information, the reader is referred to the AFM. DNB exercises prudential supervision over compliance with the Financial Supervision Act (Wft) and subsidiary legislation by investment vehicles located in the Netherlands.

If you have any questions, please apply to:

De Nederlandsche Bank NV
Afdeling Beleggingsondernemingen en beleggingsinstellingen
Postbus 98
1000 AB Amsterdam

DNB Information Desk: 0800 020 1068 (freephone in the Netherlands), on working days between 9:00 and 17:00 hours, or fax to (+31) (0)20 524 1883. You may also send an email to info@dnb.nl, stating your name, address and telephone number.

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