A Comparison between Luxembourg Reserved Alternative Investment Fund (RAIF) and Specialized Investment Fund (SIF) - Damalion - Independent consulting firm.

Initiators and investors looking to set up a fund in Luxembourg are curious as to which investment vehicle is a better option: a Reserved Alternative Investment Fund (RAIF) or a Specialized Investment Fund (SIF). There are many factors that may influence your choice between these two vehicles, including the profile and origin of investors, best time to market, target capital amount, legal form, management, marketing efforts, and many more.

These two investment vehicles may look similar at first glance.

Reserved Alternative Investment Fund of Specialized Investment Fund ?

Both Reserved Alternative Investment Fund (RAIF) and Specialized Investment Fund (SIF) have the ability to invest in all asset types, offer a large selection of legal forms, and the possibility to be formed as an investment capital with variable capital (SICAV).

Typically, Specialized Investment Funds (SIFs) may be categorized as alternative investment fund (AIF), while a Reserved Alternative Investment Fund in its  essence, is an alternative investment fund (AIF). Both investment vehicles enjoy the same tax treatment in Luxembourg.

Now on to their differences. A Specialized Investment Fund (SIF) is a regulated vehicle that requires prior authorization from Luxembourg’s Commission for the Supervision of the Financial Sector (CSSF) for successful establishment. Therefore, establishing a Specialized Investment Fund (SIF) involves a longer process compared to Reserved Alternative Investment Fund (RAIF) establishment. The quick and straightforward set-up process of a Reserved Alternative Investment Fund (RAIF) is one of the reasons why it was introduced into the Luxembourg legal system.

Reserved Alternative Investment Fund (RAIF) as an investment vehicle does not require authorization nor direct supervision from the Commission for the Supervision of the Financial Sector (CSSF). This characteristic of a Reserved Alternative Investment Fund (RAIF) offers flexibility throughout its lifecycle. Changes made on documentations does not necessitate the approval of the Commission for the Supervision of the Financial Sector (CSSF).

Another crucial difference between these two vehicles which most often directs most investors to choose a Specialized Investment Fund (SIF) is that it can be managed externally or internally by an Alternative Investment Fund, whereas a Reserved Alternative Investment Fund (RAIF) can only be managed by an external Alternative Investment Fund Manager (AIFM), with the exception of Reserved Alternative Investment Funds operating with public interest in mind and managed by supranational organizations. Internally managed investment funds may not be as beneficial in the long run for investors as the fund managers are not granted passporting rights under the Alternative Investment Fund Manager Directive (AIFMD).

Lastly, a Reserved Alternative Investment Fund is chosen as an entry investment vehicle to take advantage of the ideal time to market. At some point in time, majority of Reserved Alternative Investment Funds are transformed into Specialized Investment Funds as it offers more long-term benefits to both the initiator and investors. The Reserved Alternative Investment Fund structure also functions as a co-investment vehicle alongside Specialized Investment Fund due to its greater flexibility characteristics.

Reserved Alternative Investment Fund (RAIF) and Specialized Investment Fund (SIF) Comparison Table

SIF (Specialized Investment Fund) RAIF (Reserved Alternative Investment Fund
Applicable Law Law of 13 February 2007 Law of 27 November 2015
Supervision by the CSSF

Yes

Not as a product, but a Reserved Alternative Investment Fund must be managed by an Alternative Investment Fund Manager established in Luxembourg or in another EU member state under Chapter II of 2011/6 EU.
European Passport Yes, if under the Alternative Investment Fund Manager Directive Yes, as it is subject under the Alternative Investment Fund Law
Legal Forms Available
  • Common Fund (FCP)
  • Investment Company in Variable Capital (SICAV)
  • Investment Company in Fixed Capital (SICAF)
  • Common Fund (FCP)
  • Investment Company in Variable Capital (SICAV)
  • Investment Company in Fixed Capital (SICAF)
Corporate Forms Available
  •  Public Limited Liability Company (SA)
  • Corporate Partnership Limited by Shares (SCA)
  • Private Limited Liability Company (SARL)
  • Corporate Partnership Limited by Shares (SCS)
  • Public Limited Liability Company (SA)
  • Corporate Partnership Limited by Shares (SCA)
  • Private Limited Liability Company (SARL)
  • Corporate Partnership Limited by Shares (SCS)
  • Special Limited Partnership (SCSp)
Custodian Requirements Yes, if established in Luxembourg Yes, if established in Luxembourg
Central Administration Yes, if established in Luxembourg Yes, if established in Luxembourg
Risk Diversification

Yes, with quantitative restrictions

Reserved Alternative Investment Fund investing in risk capital: No

Reserved Alternative Investment Fund not investing in risk capital, Yes but no minimum level of diversification.

Eligible Assets

Unrestricted

Reserved Alternative Investment Fund investing in risk capital: Restricted

Reserved Alternative Investment Fund not investing in risk capital: Unrestricted

Eligible Investors Limited to well-informed investors Limited to well-informed investors
Issuing Document Required Issuing document Issuing document
Compartments Yes Yes
Maximum Number of Shareholders No limit No limit
Minimum Number of Shareholders No minimum No minimum
Minimum Share Capital/Net Assets Yes, EUR 1,250,000 to be fulfilled within 12 months of authorization by the Commission for the Supervision of the Financial Sector (CSSF).

Yes, EUR 1,250,000 to be fulfilled within 12 months of incorporation.

Multiple Share Classes Yes Yes
Net Asset Value (NAV) Calculation Net Asset Value Required for reporting purposes once a year. Net Asset Value Required for reporting purposes once a year.
Redemption Upon Request of Investors Upon decision Upon decision
Borrowing Restrictions Yes Yes
Listing Yes, but subject to specific restrictions as to the eligibility of investors. Yes, but subject to specific restrictions as to the eligibility of investors.
Audit Yes, by a Luxembourg auditor Yes, by a Luxembourg auditor
Corporate Income Tax No By rule, no, unless a Reserved Alternative Investment Fund is investing in risk capital
Double Tax Treaties Depending on the jurisdiction of target companies. Depending on the jurisdiction of target companies.
Subscription Tax No In principle, yes
Capital Gains Tax No No
Wealth Tax No No
Withholding Tax on Profit Distribution No No
Withholding Tax on Interest No No, except in EU saving Directive applications
VAT (17%) Yes, with exemption Yes, with exemption

Damalion is an independent consulting firm expert guidance to investors looking to establish an investment vehicle in Luxembourg. Reach out to a Damalion expert today to learn about the Reserved Alternative Investment Fund and Specialized Investment Fund regimes.

This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax or legal advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific situation with a qualified tax or legal advisor.