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Privacy Statement
Terms and conditions

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Online Masterclass

The Distribution Function within Fund Management Companies

  • Duration
  • 9 hours
  • Programme
  • 3 evenings
  • Study
  • Online
  • Fees
  • €260
  • Level
  • Non Accredited
  • At a glance

    A short programme which includes a focus on the role of the Designated Person for Distribution. This masterclass is conducted over 3 evenings commencing Tuesday 26 September 2023.

    Welcome to The Distribution Function within Fund Management Companies masterclass, which is offered through IOB a recognised college of UCD.

    Download the The Distribution Function within Fund Management Companies brochure

    Successful distribution of investment funds is critical to a successful fund management business. However, distributing funds can be complex, particularly for widely distributed funds through multiple channels and in multiple jurisdictions. Distribution will give rise to various types of risks.

    The Central Bank of Ireland identified distribution as one of the six managerial functions within a Fund Management Company and outlined the role of the Designated Person in relation to that function as well as the role of the Directors. Indeed globally, we see an increasing focus on distribution strategies, not least because of regulatory attention on funds fees and costs.

    In a constantly evolving environment, the masterclass will aim to determine and develop best practice standards by Designated Persons for Distribution. It is designed to provide participants with:

    • A practical insight into distribution strategies, from design to ongoing implementation and periodic reviews;

    • An understanding of the role and responsibilities of the Designated Person for Distribution, including where this DP role may overlap with other Designated Person roles;

    • Familiarity with the legal and regulatory environments related to investment fund distribution; and

    • A guide to being better equipped to prepare DP reports and to present reports to the board and to fund boards.


    Nicholas Knox, Walkers

    Nicholas Blake-Knox

    Nicholas is based in Walkers' Ireland office where he is a partner and head of the Asset Management & Investment Funds team in Ireland. Nicholas has in excess of twenty years' experience in the area of asset management and investment funds and has worked in both legal and finance related positions during this time.

    Nicholas has extensive experience advising funds, promoters and service providers on a wide range of asset management and investment fund related matters, including on the establishment, authorisation and operation of all types of Irish investment funds including UCITS, QIAIFs, RIAIFs, fund of funds, ETF's, master-feeder structures and closed-ended funds.

    Nicholas has experience advising across a wide range of asset classes and investment strategies including hedge fund, private equity and real estate strategies as well as more traditional liquid investment strategies, with particular expertise in advising managers of fixed income and debt focussed investment strategies.

    Nicholas also has extensive experience advising on cross-border asset management and investment fund related matters and has previously advised on the establishment of investment fund platforms involving funds in jurisdictions outside of Ireland, including parallel investment fund structures.

    Nicholas has participated in various industry association working groups and committees (including those at the Investment Association, ICI Global and EFAMA) and has attended meetings at ESMA in Paris in order to provide technical guidance on investment fund related matters.

    Nicholas currently sits on the Alternative Investment Fund Product and Regulation Working Group and Brexit Steering Group at Irish Funds. Nicholas has spoken at a wide range of investment fund conferences and currently lectures on the Certified Investment Fund Director Institute programme which is delivered in London, Zurich and New York.

    Eimear Keane, Walkers

    Eimear Keane

    Eimear is based inWalkers' Ireland office where she is partner in the Global Asset Management and Investment Funds group in Ireland. Eimear has over 10 years' experience in the area of asset management and investment funds having worked as a financial services lawyer in Dublin during this time. 

    Eimear is highly experienced in advising a broad spectrum of managers on establishing and operating management companies (including Supermancos) in Ireland.

    Eimear also does a significant amount of advisory work associated with the ongoing operations of management companies. With regard to Irish investment funds, Eimear advises on the establishment, authorisation, operation and distribution of all types of Irish investment funds including UCITS, QIAIFs, RIAIFs, fund of funds, master-feeder structures and closed-ended funds.

    Eimear's practice involves advisory input on the eligibility of various asset classes and criteria for long/short strategies for UCITS, ESG compliance, Sharia fund compliance, derivative overlay, hedge fund, private debt, credit,ninfrastructure and private equity fund strategies. Eimear is a member of the Walkers Global FinTech group, which includes senior lawyers throughout the Walkers network advising on FinTech matters.

    Eimear has been a member of the Irish Funds Legal and Regulatory and AIFMD Working Groups and has also lectured on the Law Society of Ireland's Finance Law Diploma programme. 

    Ann Marie Gralton, Carne Global Group

    Ann Marie Gralton

    Ann Marie Gralton joined Carne in April 2015 and is a Director and Head of Distribution Operations for the entire Carne Group. She is responsible for assisting each of the Designated Person/Conducting Officer for the various Carne Management Companies as well as delivering on various distribution support services Carne has been engaged for by both ManCo and self-managed clients.

    Ann-Marie has held various roles within the group since joining Carne. Prior to her current role, she held a role onboarding new clients for the various Carne ManCos. She also held the role as Designated Person for Distribution for the Carne Global Fund Managers (Ireland) Management Company from July 2018 – November 2019.

    She has extensive experience in the initial and on-going registration requirements of UCITS funds in EU and Non-EU jurisdictions and has project managed a large number of foreign registrations. Ann-Marie has comprehensive knowledge of international distribution activities of fund and has worked closely with leading global asset managers on distribution.

    Prior to joining Carne, she worked as a legal executive for a number of years at Ivor Fitzpatrick and Company Solicitors, in Dublin. Ann-Marie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and History from National University of Ireland, Maynooth and a Postgraduate Diploma in Law from Dublin Institute of Technology (now TU Dublin). She also has a Professional Diploma in Applied Alternative Investments from the Institute of Bankers.

    Natasha Haugh, Carne Global Financial Services

    Natasha Haugh

    Natasha is a Director, Client Relationship Management with Carne Global Financial Services Dublin and has over 25 years of experience in the funds industry.  She specialises in client relationship management, fund accounting and delegate oversight for both UCITS and AIF funds.  She is an experienced Designated Person and has been approved by the CBI for all six managerial functions for both Self-Managed Investment Companies and external Management Companies.

    In her role as Designated Person for Distribution she is responsible for ensuring funds are in compliance with the relevant distribution strategies and complaints handling policies in accordance with business plans and programmes of activity. More recently she has served as a Director on the both UCITS and QIAIF products where she provides guidance on Operational Risk, Regulatory Compliance and general industry expertise in respect of both the UCITS and AIF funds.

    Natasha joined Carne from BNY Mellon, where as Head of Offshore & Onshore Service Delivery Management she had responsibility for service delivery for over 75 client relationships across EMEA.  Her clients ranged from large Institutional Investment Managers to smaller Boutique operations, managing a wide range of UCITS and hedge fund product including Fund of Fund, Master/Feeder, Money Market and Alternative funds.

    Natasha also spent time in the UK providing leadership development and senior management support and was Fund Accounting Group Manager for teams in Cork and Dublin. Before joining BNY Mellon, Natasha was at PNC GIS for seven years where she was a Senior Fund Accounting Manager. Natasha has also worked at IBT Europe Ltd, CICM Fund Administration, Deutsche International, Bank of Ireland and National Irish Bank.

    Natasha has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Financial Services from Liverpool John Moore’s University and a Professional Diploma in Applied Alternative Investments, a Joint Financial Services Diploma, a Certificate in Mortgage Practice and a Certificate in Mutual Fund Services from IOB. In December 2021 Natasha completed a micro credentials programme in ‘Creating Value with ESG’ at Trinity College Dublin.

    Fiona Coughlan, Comgest

    Fiona Coughlan

    Fiona joined Comgest in 2012 as a Fund Operations Officer and has since been appointed to a Head of Operations role. She is also a member of CAMIL’s executive management team.

    Fiona graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 1999 with a BA in Economics & Social Studies. She began her career at Merrill Lynch in Dublin, working as part of a derivatives Client Services team, before moving to work for Merrill Lynch in London in 2003.

    From 2004 onwards, she worked for Deutsche Bank London within their Global Transaction Banking division in roles ranging from client services through to product management.

    Martina Kelly, IOB

    Martina Kelly 2

    Martina Kelly is Director of Funds at IOB having joined IOB in January 2020. Prior to that she was Head of Markets Policy Division within the Central Bank of Ireland with responsibility for the formulation of policy in relation to investment funds, investment firms, markets and market infrastructure.

    Martina has considerable experience in investment funds policy and regulation having led the Central Bank’s work in this area for many years.  In that capacity she was directly involved with the development of the Irish regulatory regime applicable to funds and fund service providers. 

    Martina represented the Central Bank at the ESMA Investment Management Standing Committee from its inception until she left the Central Bank in 2019. She also participated in various European Council Working Groups including those related to AIFMD and UCITS and was the Central Bank representative at the Irish IFSC Funds Working Group

    Martina is a non-executive director of Northern Trust Fiduciary Services (Ireland) Limited.

    Who should attend

    The masterclass will be particularly relevant to Designated Persons for Distribution or those who aspire to or support this role. It is also very relevant to Directors (of Funds and of ManCos – i.e. UCITS ManCos and AIFMs), senior managers and staff within ManCos and all other industry professionals within fund service providers.

    Duration and Delivery

    9 hours in total to complete the masterclass. Delivery is entirely online.


    €260 for IOB members.

    Register today

    Certificate of completion

    When you successfully complete this masterclass you will be awarded with The Distribution Function within Fund Management Companies certificate by IOB.


    3 CPD hours are awarded to each of the following designations.

    • AFP

    • CIFD

    • FCOIC

    • LCI


    Register today

    Select a day for more information on the curriculum on that day. All sessions are from 4pm to 7pm.

    Day 1 - Tuesday 26th September 2023

    Presenters: Martina Kelly, Nicholas Blake-Knox and Eimear Keane

    Overview of the Legal and Regulatory Environment for Fund Distribution

    • European and Irish legal and regulatory requirements

    • Cross Border Fund Directive and Regulation including implications of pre-marketing and deregistration requirements;

    • ESMA guidelines;

    • ESMA CSA on undue costs.

    Central Bank of Ireland expectations for fund boards and the designated person for fund distribution

    • EEA Markets;

    • UCITS and AIF timelines;

    • Market specific requirements;

    • Reverse solicitation;

    • Private placements.

    Global distribution / registration requirements

    • Ongoing registrations v reliance an available exemptions;

    • UK: Temporary Permissions regime, Private placement regime and Overseas Fund regime;

    • US: Federal and State requirements;

    • Other third countries – private placement regimes and other available approaches;

    • Costs: including those covered by the fund and those which are not;

    • Role of locally appointed distributors in complying with local regulatory requirements.

    The broader regulatory environment and how this impacts on funds and on the Designated Person for Distribution. In particular:

    • SFDR;

    • MiFID II product governance rules.

    Day 2 - Friday 27 October 2023

    Presenters: Matina Kelly, Natasha Haugh and Ann Marie Gralton

    Designated Person for Distribution – Functions and Responsibilities

    • Mapping of responsibility which Fund Management Companies are required to undertake in accordance with Central Bank of Ireland expectations;

    • Responsibilities typically allocated to the Designated Person for Distribution;

    • How approaches may differ - Including between proprietary ManCos and ManCos acting for third party funds.

    Three key requirements around distribution:

    • Distribution strategy for new sub-funds;

    • Ongoing reporting by the Designated Person for Distribution;

    • Review of marketing materials.

    The Distribution Strategy

    • Key areas of input when defining the distribution strategy;

    • The Designated Person for Distribution role in defining the distribution strategy.

    Day 3 - Wednesday 11th October 2023

    Presenters: Martina Kelly and Fiona Coughlan

    Due Diligence over distributors

    • Initial and ongoing due diligence;

    • In-house vs. outsourcing;

    • Use of standardised DDQs;

    • Assessment of criticality, level and frequency of due diligence;

    • Regulatory expectations e.g. Central Bank’s Cross Industry Guidance Paper on Outsourcing;

    • Ongoing oversight;

    • Use of SLAs, KPIs, contractual undertakings;

    • Relationships with group sales teams.

    Reporting to the Fund Management Company and to Fund Boards

    • European MiFID Templates;

    • Target Market Confirms;

    • Designated person reports.

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