The main classification of investment funds

ISIF has introduced a new classification of investment funds. From investor's point of view, funds type are divided into:

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Collective investment funds are designed for retail investors from the general public (that is why they are sometimes called retail funds) and offer higher protection, however are significantly more regulated and limited with respect to their investment focus.

On the contrary, qualified investors funds are designed for professional investors from institutions and experienced individuals offering a lower degree of regulation and considerably greater opportunities in terms of various investment objectives and strategies.

The funds may be also divided into open-end or closed end funds:

• An open-end fund allows investors to continuously join and leave the fund pursuant to the terms and conditions laid down by the legislation and the statute of the fund.
• A close-end fund on the contrary closes for a period defined by the statute after raising its capital.

Qualified Investors Funds (QIF)

Amendment 224/2006 Coll. introduced the distinction between special funds for the general public and for qualified investors together with the adoption of a special qualified investors fund following Luxemburg and German regulations (QIF is similar to Luxemburg Specialized Investment Fund). QIF is designed for experienced investors from institutions such as insurance companies, pension funds, banks, asset managers, investment intermediaries etc., and individuals with extensive investment experience meeting the minimum initial investment in amount of EUR 125 000.

Funds of qualified investors represent opportunities for investors to effectively achieve a broad spectrum of investment objectives ranging from financial assets, real estate to commodities and works of art. These funds may take form of a mutual fund as well as an investment fund with legal personality. Each form has different procedural, regulatory, tax and accounting features.

In comparison to retail funds, a QIF is less regulated and offers more options in terms of investment objectives and strategies. A QIF is for example suitable for making investments in:
• Real estate
• Private equity and venture capital
• Energy industry
• Securities, money market instruments, commodities etc.
• Receivables
• Trademarks
• Less traditional investments, such as works of art or wine
• Many other investment objectives
QIF may come into existence in a variety of legal forms depending on particular parameters of planned investments, investors’ intentions etc., among standard forms belong:
• Legal person (joint-stock company, limited liability company, limited partnership company, European company and cooperative)
• SICAV (joint-stock company with variable registered capital, allows creating sub-funds that are within one SICAV separated in terms of assets and thus separate portfolios can be created effectively by various investors and in various currencies etc.)

• Limited partnership company with investment certificates
• Mutual fund
• Trust (fund)

QIFs may be established as self-managed funds (applies only to certain forms) or managed funds (see Management – link) and also as open-end or close-end.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you wish to learn more about taking advantage of particular forms of funds.

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The above is just a basic description and a summary of activities carried out by funds. In some special cases certain processes may differ.

Would you like to find out more about the operation of funds? Please do not hesitate to contact us.

Legislation and History

The first legal regulation framework on collective investment was coming into existence between 1991-1992. It was finalized and passed as an Act No. 248/1992 Coll., on Investment Companies and Investment Funds, which became effective as of 29 May 1992. The Act No. 248/1992 Coll. contributed to the increasing development of the collective investment sector in the Czech Republic. However, throughout its history the law remained incomplete and incompatible with the requirements of the European law. In the light of the European Union entry, the legal system of the Czech Republic had to be more compliant with EU law therefore the Act on Investment Companies and Investment Funds was abolished with effect from 1 May 2004 and replaced by a new regulation – Act No. 189/2004 Coll., on Collective Investment. This law on collective investment primarily represented the means for transposition of that time European Directive governing the coordination of legal regulations in the area of collective investment (Council Directive 85/611/ECC as amended).

As of 19 August 2013, the original Act on Collective Investment was replaced by the Act on Investment Companies and Investment Funds, so called “ZISIF” and by other related legal regulations. ZISIF is based on the Directive of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union No. 2009/65/EC of 13 July 2009 on the coordination of laws, regulations and administrative provisions related to undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS) as amended by Directive 2010/78/EU of 24 November 2010 and Directive 2011/61/EU of 8 June 2011 on Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFMD), Regulation (EU) No. 345/2013 of 17 April 2013 on European venture capital funds (EuVECA) and Regulation (EU) No. 346/2013 of 17 April 2013 on European social entrepreneurship funds (EuSEF).

Legislation

Basically, the regulation framework covers rules for activities of domestic investment funds, their managers, administrators and depositaries in compliance with UCITS and AIFMD directives.

The Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIMFD) aims to fulfil the need for creating a harmonized regime of offering investments in so-called Alternative Investment Funds (AIF) on the grounds of a European passport. Voluntary compliance with AIMFD is, however, accompanied by a higher degree of regulation.

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