Located east of Puerto Rico, the British Virgin Islands, alternatively called the Virgin Islands are British overseas territories in the Caribbean. The main islands consist of the islands of Tortola, virgin Goda, Jost van dyke and Anegada and 50 smaller islands with about 15 unoccupied. English is the official language, although Spanish is widely spoken by Puerto Rican, Dominican, and other Spanish-speaking immigrants.
The BVI is a prime location for offshore mutual funds. It is quite popular as a global leader with more than 3000 registered mutual funds managing over 100 billion USD. In the Virgin Islands, the Mutual Funds Act, 1996, governs mutual funds investments under the administration of the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission. The Act which controls regulates and authorize, open-ended funds, also provide the guidelines for registration of managers and administrators doing business in the territory.
In May 2010, the Government introduced a new modernized regime with Part III of the Securities and Investment Business Act, 2010 (as amended, SIBA) and the Mutual Funds Regulations, 2010 (MFR), repealing and replacing the MFA.
The acts define mutual fund as an incorporated company, a partnership, a unit trust, or other similar bodies formed under the laws of the BVI or any other jurisdiction. It pools investor’s funds for collective investment, and also issues shares, which entitle the holder to be given an amount either within a specified time or on demand. This amount received by any member of the company, partnership or unit trust is computed about the proportionate value of the member’s interest in the whole or part of the net assets.
There are three basic types that include private funds, professional fund, and public fund. To register under the act in any of these categories, applicants must have proven to a satisfactory level that it is constituted lawfully, and complies with the definition of private or professional.