UCITS and investment fund management companies
The Investment Fund Act 2011 (InvFG 2011; Investmentfondsgesetz) regulates the activities and organisation of investment fund management companies. The InvFG 2011 is based on Directive 2009/65/EC on the coordination of laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS), also known as the UCITS Directive.
The management of investment funds as specified in the InvFG 2011 is defined as a banking transaction pursuant to Article 1 para. 1 no. 13 of the Austrian Banking Act (BWG; Bankwesengesetz). This is why the BWG provisions also apply to investment fund management companies, unless they are explicitly exempted. Investment fund management companies are therefore considered special-purpose credit institutions.
With an appropriate licence, they may also provide the investment services specified in Article 3 para. 2 nos. 1 and 2 of the Securities Supervision Act 2007 (WAG 2007; Wertpapieraufsichtsgesetz). In this case, the WAG 2007 provisions listed in Article 10 para. 5 of the InvFG 2011 must also be applied to them.
Specific features of the InvFG 2011
It should be noted that the InvFG 2011 not only includes regulations concerning Austrian undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS), but also provisions on alternative investment funds (AIFs). Such AIFs could be other special assets, pension investment funds and special funds.
Most Austrian investment fund management companies not only manage UCITS, but also AIFs. Consequently, these companies are also alternative investment fund managers (AIFMs), that hold a licence pursuant to the InvFG and a licence pursuant to the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Act (AIFMG; Alternatives Investmentfonds Manager-Gesetz).