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20 January 2014 Supervision Supervision label Factsheet

The depositary of an AIF is responsible for the safekeeping of the AIF assets and for performing a range of supervisory duties on behalf of investors. An AIF depositary should be distinguished from a UCITS depositary.

Functions

The main function of a depositary is to hold the assets of an AIF. Assets may be either financial instruments that can be taken into custody or other assets for which a register must be kept.

In addition, the depositary has several supervisory functions. For one thing, the depositary must ensure that the accession and departure of unit holders, and the sale, issue, buyback, repayment and cancellation of participation rights or units in the AIF are conducted in accordance with the Financial Supervision Act (Wft) and with the statute and/or by-laws of the AIF, and that the AIF's investment returns, such as interest or dividend, are dealt with in accordance with the law and with the statute/by-laws of the AIF.
Also, the depositary must audit the AIF's cash flows.

Who can be a depositary?

  1. an authorised credit institution having its registered office in a Member State
  2. an authorised credit institution having its registered office in a Member State
  3. an entity permitted to act as a depositary under the UCITS Directive

Certain types of AIFs may, in addition, appoint a so-called alternative depositary. AIFs that may qualify for this option include depositaries of real estate funds or private equity funds. An alternative depositary must meet several requirements, including the requirement that the depositary functions are performed in the line of business.

An authorised credit institution or investment firm established in another Member State, apart from the requirement to notify DNB, is subject to approval by the AFM in order to qualify as depositary.

For further information about AIF depositaries, please refer to the extensive Q&A on the website of the AFM.