The New U.K. Asset Holding Company Regime: Qualifying Criteria and Potential Market Impact

The U.K. has finalized the legislation for its new Qualifying Asset Holding Company Regime, which will soon come into force. The regime opens the U.K. as a jurisdiction for funds that need holding companies for tax and commercial purposes. Given the seemingly ever-increasing technical challenges and costs of maintaining fund structures in other jurisdictions, the chance to maintain holding companies in a jurisdiction in which many European-focused fund managers are themselves established should be attractive to many firms, provided they can navigate the qualifying conditions. In a guest article, Macfarlanes partner James McCredie examines the need for the asset holding company regime and why having asset holding companies in the U.K. is appealing but, without the new regime, challenging. The article then identifies the many considerable benefits of operating within the regime, followed by the equally substantial – albeit certainly achievable – qualifying conditions of the regime. Finally, it offers insights on the types of fund structures the new regime is most useful for and measures fund managers can take to comply. For coverage of the proposed regulations, see “Alternative Funds and the U.K. Asset Holding Company Consultation: Best of Breed, or Slow Out of the Gate?” (Sep. 1, 2020).

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