An alternative investment fund (AIF) is a special fund managed by an Alternative Investment Fund Manager (AIFM). The Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (Directive 2011/61/EU or “AIFMD”) is the legal basis for AIFs. The aim of the AIFMD is to create uniform requirements throughout the European Union for the authorisation of and supervision of Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFMs). This was transposed into national law by the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Act, which entered effect on 22.07.2013.
The term AIF encompasses every collective investment undertaking including its subfunds, that collects capital from a number of investors, in order to invest it in accordance with a determined investment strategy for the benefit of the investors. The collected capital may not directly be used for an operational activity and the fund is not subject to the UCITS Directive.
The types of AIFs addressed in the Investment Funds Act of 2011 (InvFG 2011 – Investmentfondsgesetz 2011) include special funds, other special funds and pension investment funds.
Real estate investment funds and real estate special investment funds pursuant to the Real Estate Investment Fund Act (ImmoInvFG – Immobilien-Investmentfondsgesetz) are also classified as Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs).