Société d'Investissement à Capital Variable (SICAV) Definition

What Is Société d'investissement à Capital Variable (SICAV)?

A Société d'investissement à Capital Variable, or SICAV fund, is a publicly-traded open-end investment fund structure offered in Europe. SICAV funds are similar to open-end mutual funds in the U.S. Shares in the fund are bought and sold based on the fund's current net asset value (NAV).

Key Takeaways

  • A SICAV is an open-ended investment fund structure offered by European financial companies.
  • SICAV fund shares are available to the public to trade, with prices that are based on the fund investments' net asset value.
  • SICAV stands for Société d'investissement à Capital Variable, which translates literally to english as "Investment company with Variable Capital".

Understanding SICAV

SICAVs are regulated under European law. Their structuring can be guided by either the Undertakings for the Collective Investment of Transferable Securities (UCITS) regulatory framework or the specialized investment fund (SIF) framework. Most funds follow UCITS law enacted in 2009 by the European Commission to create a harmonized regime throughout Europe for the management and sale of mutual funds. Some SICAVs may follow SIF law enacted in February 2007 primarily for institutional investors.

SICAVs have a board of directors to oversee the fund. Each individual shareholder receives voting rights and has the right to attend the annual general meetings. The term SICAV is an acronym for Société d'investissement à Capital Variable. These funds are most well known and used in France, Luxembourg, and Italy. Similar to open-end mutual funds, SICAVs do not have a fixed number of shares traded in the public market.


SICAVs are often contrasted with SICAFs. SICAFs are similar to closed-end funds in the U.S. SICAFs are an acronym for Société d’Investissement à Capital Fixe. They are traded on public market exchanges and operate with a fixed number of shares.

UCITS structured SICAVs are actively cross-border marketed in Europe. They are one of Europe’s most actively traded investment products. The funds trade on exchanges in their designated currency.

SICAV Investments

JPMorgan is one global asset manager offering a comprehensive list of SICAV investments. The firm manages over 600 SICAVs.

For example, in October 2016, the firm launched the JPM U.S. Corporate Bond A (dist) – USD SICAV. The fund seeks to outperform the Bloomberg U.S. Corporate Investment Grade Index by investing primarily in investment-grade USD-denominated U.S. corporate debt securities. The fund has an annual fee of 1%, a maximum entry charge of 3% and an exit charge of 0.50%.

The JPM Global Select Equity SICAV series was one of the first launched by the firm. The strategy has an inception date of April 30, 1981. It has three USD denominated funds and two EUR denominated funds. The funds focus on investments across the entire global equity market universe.