Mauritius became an offshore financial services centre in the early 1990’s. It has long been on the OECD white list and over the past 25 years has matured as an offshore centre of repute and integrity.
Compared to other offshore island financial services centres, Mauritius has a relatively large population and is able to ‘home-grow’ talent rather than rely on talent import. There is a culture of continuity and stability that comes with this, as well as the ability to manage costs so that Mauritius is competitive whilst maintaining the highest international service standards.
Mauritian rules and regulations allow creation of open and closed ended schemes, retail and institutional, professional, hedge, private equity and venture capital funds. Funds may be incorporated as Unit trusts or partnership schemes (LLP) and certain foreign recognised schemes may be acknowledged in Mauritius. Mauritius also allows Funds to be created as protected cell companies.
OSMS can assist you with every aspect of your fund requirements, be they on or off-shore, including:
- Corporate Secretarial & Administration
- Incorporation, Domicile and Fund Launch
- Fund Accounting and Net Asset Value Calculation (“NAV”)
- Investor / Shareholder Services
- Specific Services for Private Equity Funds
- Special Purpose Funds
In some cases it may be necessary or advantageous to create a local fund management and advisory company with local presence (e.g. a Collective Investment Scheme Advisor). This may be achieved at a low cost and with professional and administration back office support. The extensive Double Taxation Avoidance Treaty network of Mauritius may be used to create efficient fund operations based out of the island.
OSMS has the ability to help you in cross-border and cross-jurisdictional fund structures. Our senior staff in Mauritius are international experts in funds and through our network of partners worldwide we can assist with master feeder structures, private equity structures, hedge funds, cell structures and other international fund structures that encompass multiple strategies, multiple currencies, fee performance rules that differ by country or investment and that apply across multiple jurisdictions.
Corporate Secretarial & Administration
OSMS provides high calibre service for corporate secretarial functions and the general maintenance of good governance of the fund.
Our services include:
- Maintaining statutory registers and corporate records of the Fund and its subsidiaries according to their constitutive documents, agreements and prospectus
- Minute taking and statutory record keeping
- Assistance with drafting of agreements including Administration agreements
- Agenda and Board pack preparation and circulation
- Certification of resolutions and documents
- Attendance at Directors and Shareholder Meetings in person or by telephone
- Bank account opening assistance
- Provision of Money Laundering Reporting Officer and Deputy MLRO if required
- Other services as agreed between the Manager of the Fund and the Administrator
- Regulatory submissions and filings including licence application
- Other Statutory filings including annual returns
- Tax return filings
- Liaison and co-ordination of external service providers
We provide expert directorship services to funds of all types around the world. As non-executive directors we ensure that the highest standards of governance are maintained. We provide directorships to both Mauritian domiciled funds and to non-Mauritian funds.
Incorporation, Domicile and Fund Launch
Corporate secretarial and administration services are one of our core competences. They are also one of the key areas of regulation to which we are subject. We will liaise with all of your advisors, with regards to legal taxation or otherwise, to ensure that this process remains smooth. Our procedures are transparent and as this is often one of the more sensitive phases of getting your fund started we will communicate clearly with you about all requirements involved. Regulation, Due Diligence Requirements and Compliance are evolving globally and we will help you navigate this path with the highest professional standards.
You will have a dedicated team to help you all the way to fund launch. If the anticipated fund size is initially small, we will help you “incubate” your fund offering. Through our network of business partners and advisors we can tailor fund solutions to accommodate even small start-ups of all fund types.
We pride ourselves on our creativity and can provide fund solutions for investment houses and asset managers in many parts of the world, including tailored solutions for Swiss asset management companies.
FATCA – The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act
The recent introduction of FATCA and its adoption by countries throughout the world may have a profound effect on your offshore business.
FATCA requires any non-US Financial Institution to report information on their United States account holders, be they people or corporations, as well as any non-US entity in which a US account holder has a substantial ownership interest.
The definition of a non-US Financial Institution is broad; it includes banks, managed broker accounts, funds, custodianship accounts, partnership accounts as well as any investment based insurance or similar account. Non-US Financial Institutions will be subject to a withholding tax of 30% on certain US sources of income or fund transfers in the event of failure to comply with FATCA.
We can assist with FATCA registration and compliance in Mauritius and access our partner network to offer FATCA Compliance services in other jurisdictions.
We can help you determine your FATCA status, registering for FATCA with the appropriate authorities and by letting you know where we believe there may be gaps in processes and information that need to be filled in order to remain FATCA compliant.
FATCA presents the financial community with major administration challenges. We will help your back office ensure compliance.
Fund Accounting and Net Asset Value Calculation (“NAV”)
Our base services include all aspects of fund accounting and net asset value calculation
- Independent Monthly, Quarterly, Bi-Annual or Yearly NAV as required
- Independent Valuation and Verification of portfolio valuations
- Maintain Shareholder/Investor Registers and record Subscriptions and Redemptions
- Ensuring that Fund NAV and accounts are prepared in accordance with Fund documents and agreements
- IFRS Year End Accounts preparation and audit liaison
- Fund Statistics Reporting at many levels
- Management Accounts tailored to Fund Manager and Investor needs
- Multi-currency, multi strategy and multi share class services; NAV calculation and verification over entire fund structure
- Cross jurisdiction and multiple jurisdiction expertise
- NAV Services across Protected Cell structured funds
- Recording of corporate actions
- Custodian Reconciliations and Prime Broker Reconciliations to executed trades and statements; monitoring and recording of accrued dividends, interest and other income
In addition, we have experience and expertise in the more complex aspects of performance fee calculation and equalisation, the use of side-pockets and complex financial instruments.
Investor / Shareholder Services
We can provide the link between the Fund Manager and the investors into the Fund. We communicate across this nexus to make sure all parties are aware of the Due Diligence/Know Your Client and the Anti-Money Laundering laws and regulations that must be complied with.
Our services include
- Share register maintenance
- Capital Account maintenance (partnerships)
- Paying agent; transaction and settlement functions
- Customer Due Diligence and Anti-Money Laundering procedures
- Investor relations including assistance to the Fund Manager with circulation of Fund Reports, factsheets, performance updates and other documents
- Recording and Administration of subscriptions and redemptions across all share classes and fund structures, capital calls, fund closing communication, switches and transfers
- Acknowledgment and confirmation of acceptance of subscriptions and redemptions
- Investor enquiry management
Specific Services for Private Equity Funds
Mauritius has established a global reputation for the expertise of its service providers in private equity funds; we are a part of that expertise.
OSMS can assist you in tailoring the design of call letters and investor reports, the administration of capital calls over many rounds of funding, with the administration and communication needs surrounding commitments and closings as well as the calculation of distributions, buy-backs and capital returns.
We have access to an international network of advisors, auditors, and law firms across the most widely used jurisdictions. With our network we can help you structure the investment and co-investment vehicles necessary that are used to manage, carry or partner interest.
A new vehicle in the Mauritian arena: the Special Purpose Fund
One of the most important 2012 budgetary measures was to promote Mauritius as a jurisdiction of substance and diversify its product offering to investors. Mauritius already ranks amongst the most flexible and advantageous fund domiciles due in no small part to the wide array of existing funds.
In order to further enhance our competitiveness and strengthen our position in the International Financial Services arena, the Special Purpose Fund (“SPF”) regime was introduced in Mauritius with the promulgation of the Financial Services (Special Purpose Fund) Rules 2013 made by the Financial Services Commission ("FSC").
Accordingly, an SPF will enjoy “tax exempt” status in Mauritius. However, an SPF will not hold any global business licence and will not avail from benefits under the Double Taxation Agreements or any other tax arrangements that Mauritius has entered into with its various treaty partners.
The conditions on which the FSC shall approve a fund as an SPF are:
- To conduct investment solely in countries which do not have tax arrangements with Mauritius; or
- To invest mainly in securities whose returns will be exempted from taxation; or
- All investors of an SPF are pension schemes or other persons entitled to tax exemptions.