Following the financial crisis that began in 2008, the EU set out to create an effective regulatory system for alternative investment funds (AIFs) – ie non-UCITS investment funds. The EC stated that alternative investment fund managers (AIFMs) had become "very significant actors in the European financial system, managing a large quantity of assets on behalf of pension funds and other investors; accounting for a significant proportion of trading activity in financial markets; and constituting an important source of counterparty risk for other market participants."

The resulting Directive 2011/61/EU - Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) – published in the OJ on 1 July 2011 after two years of controversy and debate – establishes an EU-wide harmonised framework for monitoring and supervising risks posed by AIFMs and the AIFs they manage, and for strengthening the internal market in alternative funds.

The Directive applies (with certain exemptions) to:

  • all EU-based managers of AIFs (AIFMs)
  • non-EU-based AIFMs managing EU AIFs
  • non-EU-based AIFMs managing AIFs marketed in the EU.


The AIFMD entered into force on 21 July 2011 and had to be transposed into member state law by 22 July 2013. In most cases it was also to be effective from this date. Certain AIFMs were allowed a transitional period, lasting up to 22 July 2014, in which to seek the necessary variation of permission, authorisation or registration prior to implementation.

However, the compliance process took longer than planned and in December 2014 the EC found it necessary to issue a formal warning to Spain, Latvia and Poland that they needed to put adequate measures in place or face fines.

The Directive is now fully in effect and in force. It has been supplemented by Level II Regulations – see Key documents. For more dates, see the Timeline below.


Topics covered by Better Regulation include
  • BRRD
  • Banking Structural Reform
  • Basel
  • Benchmarks Regulation
  • Brexit
  • Capital Markets Union
  • Capital Requirements Legislation
  • Central Securities Depositories Regulation
  • Credit Rating Agencies Regulation
  • Deposit Guarantee Schemes Directive
  • Dodd-Frank
  • EMIR
  • GDPR
  • Solvency II
  • Insurance Distribution Directive
  • Interchange Fees Regulation
  • Liquidity
  • Market Abuse/Insider Dealing
  • Markets in Financial Instruments Legislation
  • Money Laundering Directives
  • Money Market Funds Regulation
  • Mortgage Credit Directive
  • Payment Services Directive
  • PRIIPs Regulation
  • Prospectus Directive
  • Ring-fencing
  • Securities Financing Transactions Regulation
  • Securitisation Regulation
  • Senior Insurance Managers Regime
  • Senior Managers Regime
  • UCITS Directive