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SYSC 19B.1 Application

SYSC 19B.1.1 R

1The AIFM Remuneration Code applies to a full-scope UK AIFM of:

  1. (1)

    a UK AIF;

  2. (2)

    an EEA AIF; and

  3. (3)

    a non-EEA AIF.

SYSC 19B.1.1A G
  1. (1)

    2Full-scope UK AIFMs are advised that ESMA published Guidelines on sound remuneration policies under the AIFMD on 3 July 2013, which full-scope UK AIFMs should comply with in applying the rules in this section. The Guidelines can be found at: http://www.esma.europa.eu/system/files/2013-232_aifmd_guidelines_on_remuneration_-_en.pdf

  2. (2)

    The FCA has provided additional guidance on the application of principles of proportionality to remuneration policies of AIFM. The guidance also addresses several other aspects of the AIFM Remuneration Code and the Guidelines. The guidance can be found at: [http://www.fca.org.uk/your-fca/documents/finalised-guidance/fg14-02]

Remuneration policies and practices

SYSC 19B.1.2 R

An AIFM must establish, implement and maintain remuneration policies and practices for AIFM Remuneration Code staff that are consistent with, and promote, sound and effective risk management and do not encourage risk-taking which is inconsistent with the risk profile of the instrument constituting the fund of the AIFs it manages.

[Note: article 13(1) of AIFMD]

SYSC 19B.1.3 R

AIFM Remuneration Code staff comprise those categories of staff whose professional activities have a material impact on the risk profiles of the AIFMs or of the AIFs the AIFM manages. This includes senior management, risk takers, control functions, and any employees receiving total remuneration that takes them into the same remuneration bracket as senior management and risk takers.

[Note: article 13(1) of AIFMD]

SYSC 19B.1.4 R
  1. (1)

    When establishing and applying the total remuneration policies for AIFM Remuneration Code staff (inclusive of salaries and discretionary pension benefits), an AIFM must comply with the AIFM remuneration principles in a way and to the extent that is appropriate to its size, internal organisation and the nature, scope and complexity of its activities.

  2. (2)

    Paragraph (1) does not apply to the requirement for significant AIFMs to have a remuneration committee (SYSC 19B.1.9 R).

  3. (3)

    The AIFM remuneration principles apply to remuneration of any type paid by the AIFM, to any amount paid directly by the AIF itself, including carried interest, and to any transfer of units or shares of the AIF made to the benefits of AIFM Remuneration Code staff.

[Note: paragraph 1 and 2 of Annex II of AIFMD]

AIFM Remuneration Principle 1: Risk management

SYSC 19B.1.5 R

An AIFM must ensure that its remuneration policy is consistent with, and promotes, sound and effective risk management and does not encourage risk-taking which is inconsistent with the risk profiles of the instrument constituting the fund of the AIFs it manages.

[Note: paragraph 1(a) of Annex II of AIFMD]

AIFM Remuneration Principle 2: Supporting business strategy, objectives, values and interests, and avoiding conflicts of interest

SYSC 19B.1.6 R

An AIFM must ensure that its remuneration policy is in line with the business strategy, objectives, values and interests of the AIFM and the AIFs it manages or the investors of such AIFs, and includes measures to avoid conflicts of interest.

[Note: paragraph 1(b) of Annex II of AIFMD]

AIFM Remuneration Principle 3: Governance

SYSC 19B.1.7 R

An AIFM must ensure that the governing body of the AIFM, in its supervisory function, adopts and periodically reviews the general principles of the remuneration policy and is responsible for its implementation.

[Note: paragraph 1(c) of Annex II of AIFMD]

SYSC 19B.1.8 R

An AIFM must ensure the implementation of the remuneration policy is, at least annually, subject to central and independent internal review for compliance with policies and procedures for remuneration adopted by the governing body in its supervisory function.

[Note: paragraph 1(d) of Annex II of AIFMD]

SYSC 19B.1.9 R
  1. (1)

    An AIFM that is significant in terms of its size, internal organisation and the nature, the scope and the complexity of its activities must establish a remuneration committee.

  2. (2)

    The remuneration committee must be constituted in a way that enables it to exercise competent and independent judgment on remuneration policies and practices, and the incentives created for managing risk.

  3. (3)

    The chairman and the members of the remuneration committee must be members of the governing body who do not perform any executive function in the AIFM.

  4. (4)

    The remuneration committee must be responsible for the preparation of decisions regarding remuneration, including those which have implications for the risk and risk management of the AIFM or the AIF concerned and which are taken by the governing body in its supervisory function.

[Note: paragraph 3 of Annex II of AIFMD]

AIFM Remuneration Principle 4: Control functions

SYSC 19B.1.10 R

An AIFM must ensure that employees engaged in control functions are compensated according to the achievement of the objectives linked to their functions, independent of the performance of the business areas they control.

[Note: paragraph 1(e) of Annex II of AIFMD]

SYSC 19B.1.11 R

An AIFM must ensure the remuneration of the senior officers in the risk management and compliance functions is directly overseen by the remuneration committee, or, if such a committee has not been established, by the governing body in its supervisory function.

[Note: paragraph 1(f) of Annex II of AIFMD]

AIFM Remuneration Principle 5(a): Remuneration structures - assessment of performance

SYSC 19B.1.12 R

An AIFM must ensure that, where remuneration is performance related, the total amount of remuneration is based on a combination of the assessment of the performance of the individual and of the business unit or AIF concerned and of the overall results of the AIFM. When assessing individual performance, financial and non-financial criteria are taken into account.

[Note: paragraph 1(g) of Annex II of AIFMD]

SYSC 19B.1.13 R

An AIFM must ensure that the assessment of performance is set in a multi-year framework appropriate to the life-cycle of the AIFs managed by the AIFM to ensure that:

  1. (1)

    the assessment process is based on longer term performance; and

  2. (2)

    the actual payment of performance-based components of remuneration is spread over a period which takes account of the redemption policy of the AIFs it manages and their investment risks.

[Note: paragraph 1(h) of Annex II of AIFMD]

SYSC 19B.1.13A G
  1. (1)

    2Taking account of the remuneration principles proportionality rule in SYSC 19B.1.4 R, the FCA does not generally consider it necessary for a firm to apply the rules referred to in (2) where, in relation to an individual ("X"), both of the following conditions are satisfied:

    1. (a)

      Condition 1 is that X's variable remuneration is no more than 33% of total remuneration; and

    2. (b)

      Condition 2 is that X's total remuneration is no more than £500,000.

  2. (2)

    The rules referred to in (1) are those relating to:

    1. (a)

      guaranteed variable remuneration (SYSC 19B.1.14 R);

    2. (b)

      retained units, shares or other instruments (SYSC 19B.1.17 R);

    3. (c)

      deferral (SYSC 19B.1.18 R); and

    4. (d)

      performance adjustment (SYSC 19B.1.19 R).

AIFM Remuneration Principle 5(b): Remuneration structures - guaranteed variable remuneration

SYSC 19B.1.14 R

An AIFM must not award, pay or provide guaranteed variable remuneration unless it;

  1. (1)

    is exceptional;

  2. (2)

    occurs only in the context of hiring new staff; and

  3. (3)

    is limited to the first year of service.

[Note: paragraph 1(i) of Annex II of AIFMD]

AIFM Remuneration Principle 5(c): Remuneration structures - fixed and variable components of total remuneration3

SYSC 19B.1.15 R

An AIFM must ensure that:

3
  1. (1)

    fixed and variable components of total remuneration are appropriately balanced; and

  2. (2)

    the fixed component represents a sufficiently high proportion of the total remuneration to allow the operation of a fully flexible policy on variable remuneration components, including the possibility to pay no variable remuneration component.

[Note: paragraph 1(j) of Annex II of AIFMD]

AIFM Remuneration Principle 5(d): Remuneration structures - payments related to early termination

SYSC 19B.1.16 R

An AIFM must ensure that payments related to the early termination of a contract reflect performance achieved over time and are designed in a way that does not reward failure.

[Note: paragraph 1(k) of Annex II of AIFMD]

AIFM Remuneration Principle 5(e): Remuneration structures - retained units, shares or other instruments

SYSC 19B.1.17 R
  1. (1)

    Subject to the legal structure of the AIF and the instrument constituting the fund, an AIFM must ensure that a substantial portion, and in any event at least 50% of any variable remuneration, consists of units or shares of the AIF concerned, or equivalent ownership interests, or share-linked instruments or equivalent non-cash instruments. However, if the management of AIFs accounts for less than 50% of the total portfolio managed by the AIFM, the minimum of 50 % does not apply.

  2. (2)

    The instruments in (1) must be subject to an appropriate retention policy designed to align incentives with the long-term interests of the AIFM and the AIFs it manages and the investors of such AIFs.

  3. (3)

    This rule applies to the portion of the variable remuneration component deferred in line with SYSC 19B.1.18R (1) and the portion not deferred.

[Note: paragraph 1(m) of Annex II of AIFMD]

AIFM Remuneration Principle 5(f): Remuneration structures - deferral

SYSC 19B.1.18 R
  1. (1)

    An AIFM must not award, pay or provide a variable remuneration component unless a substantial portion, and in any event at least 40%, of the variable remuneration component, is deferred over a period which is appropriate in view of the life cycle and redemption policy of the AIF concerned and is correctly aligned with the nature of the risks of the AIF in question

  2. (2)

    The period referred to in (1) must be at least three to five years, unless the life cycle of the AIF concerned is shorter.

  3. (3)

    Remuneration payable under (1) must vest no faster than on a pro-rata basis.

  4. (4)

    In the case of a variable remuneration component of a particularly high amount, at least 60 % of the amount must be deferred.

[Note: paragraph 1(n) of Annex II of AIFMD]

SYSC 19B.1.18A G
  1. (1) 2

    £500,000 is a particularly high amount for the purpose of SYSC 19B.1.18R (4).

  2. (2)

    Paragraph (1) is without prejudice to the possibility of lower sums being considered a particularly high amount.

  3. (3)

    Whilst any variable remuneration component of £500,000 or more paid to AIFM Remuneration Code staff should be subject to 60% deferral, firms should also consider whether lesser amounts should be considered to be 'particularly high', taking account, for example, of whether there are significant differences within AIFM Remuneration Code staff in the levels of variable remuneration paid.

AIFM Remuneration Principle 5(g): Remuneration structures - performance adjustment, etc.

SYSC 19B.1.19 R

An AIFM must ensure that any variable remuneration, including a deferred portion, is paid or vests only if it is sustainable according to the financial situation of the AIFM as a whole and justified according to the performance of the AIF, the business unit and the individual concerned.

[Note: paragraph 1(o) first sub-paragraph of Annex II of AIFMD]

SYSC 19B.1.20 G

The total variable remuneration should generally be considerably contracted where subdued or negative financial performance of the AIFM or of the AIF concerned occurs, taking into account both current compensation and reductions in payouts of amounts previously earned, including through malus or clawback arrangements.

[Note: paragraph 1(o) second sub-paragraph of Annex II of AIFMD]

AIFM Remuneration Principle 6: Measurement of performance

SYSC 19B.1.21 R

An AIFM must ensure the measurement of performance used to calculate variable remuneration components, or pools of variable remuneration components, includes a comprehensive adjustment mechanism to integrate all relevant types of current and future risks.

[Note: paragraph 1(l) of Annex II of AIFMD]

AIFM Remuneration Principle 7: Pension policy

SYSC 19B.1.22 R

An AIFM must ensure that:

  1. (1)

    its pension policy is in line with its business strategy, objectives, values and long-term interests of the AIFs it manages;

  2. (2)

    when an employee leaves the firm before retirement, any discretionary pension benefits are held by the firm for a period of five years in the form of instruments in SYSC 19B.1.17R (1); and

  3. (3)

    in the case of an employee reaching retirement, discretionary pension benefits are paid to the employee in the form of instruments referred to in SYSC 19B.1.17R (1) and subject to a five-year retention period.

[Note: paragraph 1(p) of Annex II of AIFMD]

AIFM Remuneration Principle 8: Personal investment strategies

SYSC 19B.1.23 R

An AIFM must ensure that its employees undertake not to use personal hedging strategies or remuneration- and liability-related insurance to undermine the risk alignment effects embedded in their remuneration arrangements.

[Note: paragraph 1(q) of Annex II of AIFMD]

AIFM Remuneration Principle 9: Avoidance of the remuneration code

SYSC 19B.1.24 R

An AIFM must ensure that variable remuneration is not paid through vehicles or methods that facilitate the avoidance of the requirements of the AIFM Remuneration Code.

[Note: paragraph 1(r) of Annex II of AIFMD]