In The Bahamas, most types of investment funds need investment fund administrators to oversee them. These administrators are licensed by the Securities Commission of The Bahamas to conduct business and must meet certain requirements to keep their licences. Depending on the type of licence obtained, an administrator may have more flexibility to work with offshore investors.
Investment fund administrators must be either Bahamian companies or international business companies. Administrators are not individuals. These companies must be licensed by the Securities Commission of The Bahamas. If the administrator will administer only one investment fund, the Securities Commission may grant it a special exemption from the licence requirement. Administrators must have sufficient expertise to administer investment funds, be of good reputation, administer investment funds properly, have directors and officers that meet the Securities Commission's requirements, and meet prescribed financial requirements. Investment Funds Act 2003, Section 33.
There are two different types of licences granted by the Securities Commission: an unrestricted investment fund administrator's licence and a restricted investment fund administrator's licence. An unrestricted investment fund administrator can both licence and administer an unlimited number of investment funds. A restricted investment fund administrator can only administer certain investment funds approved by the Securities Commission. Investment Funds Act 2003, Section 34. Unrestricted investment fund administrators can work with locals and foreigners to complete offering memoranda, conduct due diligence, and license funds – essentially help in creating funds from the ground up.
As a result, unrestricted investment fund administrators can work very quickly to create funds and begin administering them, helping them compete with more established funds. If an unrestricted administrator wants to administer a fund registered in a foreign jurisdiction recognized by The Bahamas, it need only notify the Securities Commission before administration begins.
Unrestricted investment fund administrators must have an office or other presence in The Bahamas and at least two resident agents. Restricted investment fund administrators must have a place of business in The Bahamas to keep administration records and a registered office in The Bahamas. Fund administrators audit their financial records yearly and submit financial statements to the Securities Commission. Investment Funds Act 2003, Section 34.
After a fund is licensed by an unrestricted administrator, the administrator must submit documents regarding the fund to the Securities Commission, such as the offering document, the fund's constitutive documents, a copy of the licence, and filing fees.
To find out more about investment fund administrators and the Securities Commission of The Bahamas, visit Gonsalves-Sabola Chambers online or call the office at +1 242 326 6400.
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