Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities ("UCITS") are collective investment schemes established and authorised pursuant to European Union law, as implemented in EU Member States (including Ireland). The sole permitted object of such schemes is the collective investment, in transferable securities or in other liquid financial assets, of capital raised from the public, operating under the principle of risk-spreading. A key characteristic of such schemes is that units thereof must be repurchased or redeemed, directly or indirectly, out of the scheme's assets at the request of unitholders.

Ireland is a leading international centre for domiciling and servicing funds, in particular UCITS funds. As at November 2013, there were 5,612 Irish domiciled funds, including sub-funds, with assets in excess of €1.35 trillion. Authorised UCITS funds represented 3,357 of the 5,612 Irish domiciled funds, with assets of over €1.04 trillion. 

Founded in 2006, Maples and Calder’s investment fund group is the fastest growing practice in the sector and we advised on more Irish fund launches than any other firm for each of the last four years. (Source: Monterey Insight Ireland Report)

UCITS structure and benefits:

  • UCITS are collective investment schemes established and authorised under a harmonised EU legal framework pursuant to the UCITS Directives;
  • As harmonised fund products, once established and authorised in one EU member state UCITS can be sold cross-border to investors in other EU member states without requirement for additional authorisation; and
  • The "UCITS passport" - This distribution facility enables promoters to create a single EU product rather than having to establish the same product on a jurisdiction by jurisdiction basis.

UCITS across jurisdictions and businesses

Over the past 20 years, the UCITS product has become increasingly popular as a liquid, transparent, diversified and robustly regulated investment product which boasts the flexibility to accommodate a wide range of investment strategies.

UCITS are capable of being registered for sale to the public not only throughout the EU but more than 70 countries worldwide accept UCITS as suitable for distribution into their domestic markets. However, in order to benefit from the UCITS passport, UCITS funds are subject to detailed investment restrictions, diversification and borrowing limits, minimum capitalisation and substance requirements. Further details on our services supporting the global distribution of UCITS are available in the Global Registrations Services section of the website.

UCITS are widely used by retail and institutional fund promoters and are increasingly being structured to complement existing alternative managers' offshore/onshore flagship funds.

We have a wealth of experience acting for asset managers in respect of the establishment of UCITS funds and call upon that expertise in providing legal advice to our clients. Our experience is unparalleled in this regard as we have had over 200 UCITS funds using very simple to very complex strategies approved by the Central Bank of Ireland.

For more information about UCITS, contact our Dublin office on +353 1 619 2000.