Over one million companies have incorporated in the BVI since the mid-1980s. While traditionally, many of these companies have been used as asset holding vehicles, longer term growth in the global economy has led to the wide spread global use of BVI companies as private equity or investment funds. Given the present fluctuations in the global economy, flexibility in investment is key; BVI investment funds provide for maximum flexibility. There are approximately 2,300 registered and recognized investment funds in the BVI, and the number continues to grow.
Apart from the Approved Managers Regime, BVI has further enhanced its fund product offering by launching two lightly regulated fund products--Incubator Funds and Approved Funds-which are primarily aimed at start-up emerging managers, and those managing funds for smaller groups of closely connected investors. They are designed to provide a fast and cost effective method for managers to start open-ended funds.
The two fund types complement and enhance the current range of funds and investment business licences offered by the BVI under the Securities and Investment Business Act (SIBA).
Both fund types, which must be limited by net asset value and number of investors, are designed to give the principals of such funds the choice as to whether they choose to appoint a separate manager and custodian (or in the case of an incubator fund an administrator). To provide a necessary balance the funds are required to make robust disclosures of their structure and the risks inherent in not having multiple service providers.