In October 2014, the Mauritius Financial Services Commission (FSC) issued competency standards setting out the minimum technical skills and know-how expected from its licensees, which includes entities licenced as collective investment scheme managers (CIS Managers). The standards are part of the FSC’s drive to develop a more robust regulatory framework in Mauritius.
The FSC had initially granted an exemption from complying with the standards to CIS Managers managing professional or expert collective investment schemes in Mauritius. This exemption was repealed in June 2015 and now all CIS Managers will be required to designate at least one person as a designated officer (Officer) of that CIS Manager who must be approved by the FSC.
In addition to a requirement for an Officer to possess minimum technical skills, the standards also introduce a requirement for Officers to maintain their minimum technical competencies through continuing professional development (CPD). No guidelines as to the content of the CPDs have been published, but the standards set out the minimum number of hours of CPD that must be completed per year. In the case of a CIS Manager, a minimum of 15 hours of CPD must be completed by the Officer each year.
The standards provide that the technical competencies required for the Officer are an advanced knowledge of the following:
- general principals of securities;
- securities products;
- general principals of fund management and fund management products; and
- regulatory framework for securities activities in Mauritius.
The Officer will be able to demonstrate that they meet the minimum competencies if he/she can show that they possess a minimum degree with an emphasis on finance, capital markets, financial services, business administration or financial planning from a recognised institution and can demonstrate that they have at least four years’ experience in the investment industry.
The standards contain a grandfathering provision, however, this does not apply to CIS Managers. Licensees holding a CIS Manager licence have until 1 January 2016 to (i) appoint at least one Officer who must be approved by the FSC and (ii) to comply with the standards.