Friday 1 June 2007 LAWFUEL – Australia Business Wire – The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has released a consultation paper outlining our proposed policy on licensing relief for trustees of wholesale equity schemes. A wholesale equity scheme refers to an unregistered managed investment scheme that primarily invests in the securities of unlisted companies and whose members are all wholesale clients. The manager of this kind of venture capital arrangement will typically establish the wholesale equity scheme by way of multiple trusts with separate corporate trustees that are related bodies corporate of the manager.
The Corporations Act is likely to require these trustees to hold an Australian financial services (AFS) licence for providing dealing and custodial and depository services. To facilitate consultation, ASIC has given interim conditional licensing relief to trustees in Class Order [CO 07/74] until 31 December 2008 if the manager, as an AFS licensee, accepts responsibility for financial services provided by the trustee as if the trustee were its representative by applying for a variation of its licence reflecting the relief.
The licensing relief is intended to remove impediments to business in the venture capital industry by removing unnecessary regulatory burdens. ASIC has given interim relief to enable ASIC to further consider the appropriateness of the AFS licensing requirements to trustees of wholesale equity schemes, and discuss ongoing relief with industry. ASIC invites comments on the proposals in the consultation paper by 15 August 2007. Publication of the final policy is expected by June 2008. The consultation paper and the interim class order are available from the ASIC website at www.asic.gov.au or by calling the ASIC Infoline on 1300 300 630. For further information contact: Danielle Huck ASIC Media Unit Telephone: 03 9280 3407 Mobile: 0417 540 769