Qualified investor funds can be established in a variety of legal forms and types according to the overall structuring of the fund and its investment focus, the option for investors to join or leave the fund and many other parameters.
Forms and Types of Funds
The funds can be established as legal entities or without legal personality:
- ordinary legal entity (joint-stock company, limited liability company, limited partnership, European company, cooperative);
- SICAV (joint-stock company with variable share capital);
- limited partnership with investment certificates;
- mutual fund;
- trust fund.
The fund type is related to its legal form, with funds generally operating in two forms:
- open-end fund – allows investors to join and leave the fund on an ongoing basis;
- closed-end fund – the fund is closed after it obtains capital from investors.
A sub-fund is a portion of a fund where a different investment strategy and focus can be defined. Assets of individual sub-funds are separated from each other and sub-funds issue their own investment shares with the right of buy-back. Thus separate portfolios for various investors and investment projects can be effectively created within a single fund. Sub-funds can only be established within SICAV funds.
QIF Forms in Detail
Ordinary Legal Entity
Joint-stock company, limited liability company, European company, cooperative.
A joint-stock company with variable share capital (SICAV, Société d’investissement à capital variable) is a special legal form reserved for use as investment funds. It is an open structure, based on ordinary joint-stock companies, complemented with a flexible option for financial investors to join and leave the fund. SICAV issues two types of shares – founding shares with voting rights and investment shares with the right of buy-back and usually without voting rights.
Limited Partnership with Investment Certificates
A limited partnership with investment certificates is a limited partnership where only one shareholder is liable for its debts to an unlimited extent, i.e. the general partner while the shares of the shareholders whose liability for its debts is limited are represented by investment certificates, i.e. limited partners. The investment certificate is a security, the transferability of which cannot be restricted or eliminated and various types of investment certificates involving special rights can be issued.
A mutual fund is a pool of assets without legal personality and can exist as an open-end or closed-end type. The title to the assets in a mutual fund jointly belongs to all shareholders, proportionately to the values of their respective units held.
A trust fund is similar to the trust frequently used abroad, without legal personality and used for pooling assets and exercising the will of the founder. The founder entrusts the defined assets to the trustee, i.e. to an investment company in the case of an investment trust fund, without the trustee becoming the owner of the assets. The trustee only manages the assets and makes payments from the trust fund to what is known as the beneficiaries.
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