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Hedge Fund Monthly
 

Offshore Funds – the Irish Dimension

Mark Browne, Partner
Mason Hayes & Curran
September 2011
 

Introduction

The key role Ireland plays as an administration and servicing hub for funds domiciled in offshore jurisdictions continues to grow. The latest industry figures show that an incredible 43 per cent of global hedge fund assets are now administered in Ireland. This amounts to some €987 billion held in over 6,000 non-Irish funds which together represent almost 50% of the total assets under administration in Ireland.1

This article seeks to illustrate some of the Irish legal issues which arise for offshore structures taking advantage of this increasingly standard industry model for alternative products.

Background

The primary reason for Ireland's attractiveness as an international fund administration hub is the considerable body of local industry expertise which has been built up since the establishment of the International Financial Services Centre in Dublin in 1987. This expertise has included a particular focus on alternative investment products over the last 10 years, and the clustering effect created by this accumulated know-how has seen the establishment of over 50 licensed fund administrators, including all of the big industry names as well as a host of smaller players and niche operators, which together give Ireland an unrivalled position as the leading jurisdiction for the administration of alternative assets.

Apart from having a significant number of personnel with specific fund administration expertise, as an English speaking, pro-business environment located in an optimum time zone to ensure global coverage, Ireland remains among the world's most attractive locations for general international business operations. It is rated in the top 10 places in the world in which to do business by the World Bank and is consistently highly rated in the world’s ‘best places to do business’.

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