EUROPE - The Netherlands has become the first country to implement the EU's Alternative Investment Fund Manager Directive (AIFMD), following the approval of the necessary legislation by its parliament.

The EU regulation aims to impose stricter risk-limiting rules for investments in hedge funds, private equity and property investment funds.

Given the existing tax rules for alternative investment funds, the Netherlands is now among the top-rated countries as a potential business location for asset managers and their funds, according to consultant KPMG.

Marco Frikkee, who is a member of the consultant's investment management team, said: "With the new legislation, Netherlands-based asset managers could optimally apply easing tax rules to reduce unnecessary costs from existing tax and legal structures.

"We expect the current financial infrastructure allows the Netherlands to attract asset managers to bring business over from their current offshore locations."

Lobbying organisation Holland Financial Centre attributed the timely implementation of the legislation to a coordinated effort by the Dutch Treasury, the Financial Markets Authority (AFM) and market players.

The Netherlands is already among the Top 5 for hedge fund manager locations in the world, according to Mark Baak, a director at Privium Fund Management, and the initiator of the Dutch hedge funds index.

According to KPMG's Frikkee, the country is now also in the Top 5 in terms of attractiveness for property fund managers and private equity fund managers.