Investment funds in Switzerland: regulatory overview

A Q&A guide to investment funds law in Switzerland.

This Q&A is part of the global guide to investment funds. It provides a high level overview of investment funds in Switzerland, looking at both retail funds and hedge funds. Areas covered include a market overview, legislation and regulation, marketing, managers and operators, restrictions and requirements, tax and upcoming reform.

To compare answers across multiple jurisdictions, visit the Investment funds Country Q&A tool. For a full list of jurisdictional Q&As visit www.practicallaw.com/investmentfunds-guide.

Contents

Retail funds

1. What is the structure of the retail funds market? What have been the main trends over the last year?

Open-ended retail funds

Structure of the retail fund market. In December 2015, the volume of assets placed in investment funds was about CHF891 billion. At the end of 2015, 8,746 collective investment schemes were authorised for distribution in Switzerland, which comprised:

  • 1,541 under Swiss law.

  • 7,205 under foreign law.

Main trends over the last year. Given that a large portion of Swiss financial services and products are exported to the EU and other countries, the trend in 2015 continued to be aligning certain Swiss financial market regulations with EU regulations and international standards. The goals are to improve client protection, in addition to creating a level playing field and strengthening the competitiveness of the Swiss financial centre.

In 2015, the Swiss Government and Parliament introduced three new acts:

  • Financial Services Act (FSA). The FSA's intention is to enhance investor protection and harmonise the Swiss legal framework with the conduct rules in the EU, in particular with the Markets in Financial Instruments Directives (MiFID). The FSA is scheduled to enter into force in 2017/18.

  • Financial Institutions Act (FINIA). The FINIA will control the licensing of financial service providers and govern the supervisory regime for financial institutions in a new act. It will in particular affect asset managers who do not currently have to apply for a licence. The FINIA is also expected to enter into force in 2017/18.

  • Financial Market Infrastructure Act (FMIA). The FMIA entered into force on 1 January 2016. It aligns Swiss regulations regarding the financial market infrastructure and derivative trading with global market developments and international requirements.

On 30 July 2015, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published, among others, its advice on the application of the passport under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) to non-EU alternative investment fund managers and its opinion on the functioning of the passport for EU alternative investment fund managers (AIFMs). It concluded that there are no obstacles in extending the AIFMD passport to Switzerland upon the enactment of certain amendments of existing regulations, including provisions on co-operation. Switzerland therefore revised certain existing capital market regulations. It was originally planned that within three months of receipt of positive advice and opinion from ESMA, the European Commission would adopt a delegated act in order to activate the relevant AIFMD provisions extending the passport to Switzerland. On 13 October 2015, however, the European Commission followed ESMA's advice to delay the decision whether or not to extend the passport to third country AIFMs until a larger number of countries has been assessed by ESMA.

Further, based on the revised recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) of 2012, Switzerland aligned its anti-money laundering regulations and its transparency requirements regarding the holding of shareholdings in privately held Swiss stock corporations with international standards. The new regulations entered into force on 1 July 2015 and the certain transition period of six months elapsed on 31 December 2015. Under these revised regulations, investment companies with variable capital (SICAV) are subject to the following obligations to:

  • Maintain a register of the shares, in which the names and addresses of the company shareholders are recorded.

  • Maintain a register of the ultimate beneficial owners (natural persons) of the shares held by company shareholders. The register must contain the names and addresses of the ultimate beneficial owners.

In order for the SICAV to keep a register of beneficial owners, the company shareholders must report the ultimate beneficial owner(s) to the SICAV within one month upon the acquisition of the shares. The reporting duty is triggered if the purchaser of company shares, acting on its own or in concert, reaches or exceeds the threshold of 25% of the SICAV's share capital or voting rights. If a company shareholder fails to report the ultimate beneficial owner(s), the company shareholder is barred for exercising memberships rights (for example, voting rights) and financial rights (for example, the right to receive dividends). The above rules only apply to company shareholders and they do not apply to investor shareholders, that is, investors that purchase collective investment scheme units of a SICAV (for more information regarding the distinction between company shareholders and investor shareholders, see Question 8).

Another main trend has been to set up UCITS funds (that is, funds established under Directive 2009/65/EC on undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS) (UCITS IV Directive)) abroad (mainly in Luxembourg) and register them in Switzerland for distribution. This procedure is faster and more cost-efficient than setting up a local collective investment scheme.

Closed-ended retail funds

There is no active market for closed-ended retail funds in Switzerland. All closed-ended vehicles in the form of an investment company with fixed capital (SICAF) are listed on the Swiss stock exchange.

In early 2016, no closed-ended retail funds in the form of a SICAF were registered with FINMA. However, 18 limited partnerships for collective investment schemes (LPs) were registered. LPs are not open to the retail market, as the limited partners of LPs must be Qualified Investors.

 

Regulatory framework and bodies

2. What are the key statutes, regulations and rules that govern retail funds? Which regulatory bodies regulate retail funds?

Open-ended retail funds

Regulatory framework. The key statute governing open-ended retail funds, as well as local and foreign retail funds, is the Collective Investment Schemes Act (CISA) and the following implementing ordinances:

  • Collective Investment Schemes Ordinance (CISO).

  • Collective Investment Schemes Ordinance of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) (CISO-FINMA).

  • Ordinance of FINMA on Bankruptcy of Collective Investment Schemes.

In addition, the following key guidelines apply:

  • FINMA Circular 2013/9 on the Distribution of Collective Investment Schemes addressed to participants engaging in distribution activities.

  • Guideline of the Swiss Bankers' Association on the Duty to Keep Documentary Records according to section 24(3) CISA.

Market participants must also comply with various guidelines from the Swiss Funds and Asset Management Association (SFAMA) which have been recognised by FINMA as minimum standards within the industry.

An investment fund qualifies as a "collective investment scheme" under the CISA if the following requirements are met:

  • The assets are raised from investors for collective investment and managed on the investors' behalf.

  • The investment requirements of the investors apply on an equal basis.

Retail funds are collective investment schemes that are available to both Qualified Investors (see below) and Non-Qualified Investors (that is, investors that do not fall within the scope of the statutory definition of a Qualified Investor). Less stringent rules apply if foreign collective investment schemes are distributed exclusively to Qualified Investors. However, collective investment schemes distributed exclusively to Qualified Investors are not available on the retail fund market.

According to the statutory definition under the CISA and CISO, Qualified Investors can be any of the following:

  • Regulated financial intermediaries such as banks, securities dealers, fund management companies and asset managers of collective investment schemes, as well as central banks.

  • Regulated insurance institutions.

  • Public entities and retirement benefits institutions with professional treasury operations.

  • Companies with professional treasury operations.

  • Independent asset managers within the meaning of Article 3(2)(c) CISA.

  • High-net-worth individuals who declare in writing that they want to be classified as Qualified Investors (opting-in), provided that:

    • they have education, professional experience or comparable experience in the financial industry, and therefore have the knowledge to comprehend the risks of the investments and have a net wealth of a minimum of CHF500,000; or

    • they have confirmed in writing that they have a net wealth of at least CHF5 million (in this calculation, immovable assets can only be taken into account up to CHF2 million).

  • Investors who have concluded a written asset management agreement with a regulated financial intermediary or an independent asset manager, unless they have declared in writing that they do not wish to be deemed as such (opting-out).

  • Other categories of investors designated by the Swiss Federal Council as Qualified Investors (however, no such additional categories currently exist).

Regulatory bodies. FINMA is the regulatory body and supervisory authority for collective investment schemes.

The SFAMA is the representative industry association of collective investment schemes and their managers in Switzerland. The industry standards of the SFAMA have great significance. The FINMA has recognised many of the SFAMA's industry standards as minimum standards for all market participants (see above, Regulatory framework).

For anti-money laundering purposes, FINMA or self-regulatory organisations (SROs) appointed by Swiss market participants are the competent regulatory bodies.

Closed-ended retail funds

Regulatory framework. The regulatory framework for open-ended retail funds is also applicable to closed-ended retail funds (see above, Open-ended retail funds: Regulatory framework).

Regulatory bodies. FINMA is the regulatory body and supervisory authority (see above, Open-ended retail funds: regulatory bodies).

 
3. Do retail funds themselves have to be authorised or licensed?

Open-ended retail funds

Local funds. Under Swiss law, open-ended collective investment schemes can take two forms:

  • Contractual investment fund (FCP).

  • Investment company with variable capital (SICAV).

For details of fund vehicles, see Question 8.

With open-ended collective investment schemes, investors can request redemption of their units or shares at net asset value (NAV).

In relation to authorisation from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA):

  • For FCPs, the fund contract requires FINMA approval.

  • For SICAVs, both the SICAV itself and its constitutional documents (that is, articles of association and investment regulations) must be approved by FINMA.

  • If the FCP or SICAV are structured with subfunds (umbrella funds) or share classes, each subfund and share class requires FINMA approval.

All parties managing local and/or foreign collective investment schemes or safekeeping the assets of a local collective investment scheme must obtain authorisation from FINMA. These include:

  • SICAVs.

  • Fund management companies.

  • Custodian banks of Swiss collective investment schemes.

  • Asset managers of collective investment schemes.

  • Distributors.

  • Representatives of foreign collective investment schemes that represent the foreign collective investment scheme in its dealings with investors and the FINMA.

Authorisation from FINMA will generally be granted if all of the following requirements are met:

  • The persons responsible for the management and the business operations have a good reputation, guarantee proper management and business conduct and have the necessary professional qualifications.

  • The significant equity holders have a good reputation and do not exert their influence to the detriment of prudent and sound business practice. "Significant equity holders" are persons who hold (directly or indirectly) 10% or more of the equity or voting rights.

  • Internal regulations and an appropriate organisational structure ensure that the obligations under the Collective Investment Schemes Act (CISA) are complied with.

  • Sufficient financial guarantees are available.

  • The additional authorisation conditions listed in the relevant provisions of the CISA and its implementing ordinances are met (see Question 2, Open-ended retail funds: Regulatory framework).

Foreign funds. Under Swiss law, open-ended foreign funds are considered to be either:

  • Assets accumulated on the basis of a fund contract (or other agreement with similar effect) for the purpose of collective investment, managed by a fund management company with its registered office and main administrative office based in another jurisdiction.

  • Companies and schemes with their registered office and main administration office based in another jurisdiction, which is created for the purpose of collective capital investment, and whose investors are entitled to redeem their units or shares at the NAV in relation to either:

    • the company itself; or

    • a closely related company.

FINMA must provide authorisation before foreign investment funds can be distributed to Non-Qualified Investors in or from Switzerland. FINMA will approve the relevant documents of a foreign fund (for example, the articles of association, fund contract and the prospectus) if the following requirements are met:

  • The collective investment scheme, fund management company or company, asset manager of the collective investment scheme and custodian bank are subject to public supervision intended to protect investors.

  • With regard to organisation, investor rights and investment policy, the fund management company or company and the custodian bank are subject to regulations which are equivalent to the provisions of the CISA.

  • The designation "collective investment scheme" does not provide grounds for confusion or deception.

  • A Swiss representative and a Swiss paying agent are appointed for the distribution of units in Switzerland.

  • There is an agreement on co-operation and the exchange of information between FINMA and the relevant foreign supervisory authorities for distribution.

FINMA considers foreign collective investment schemes organised in accordance with Directive 2009/65/EC on undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS) (UCITS IV Directive) to be automatically compatible with the first two requirements above. Applications for foreign UCITS funds therefore benefit from a simplified and more time efficient approval procedure. On the other hand, the approval procedure for non-UCITS funds is rather complex.

Closed-ended retail funds

Local funds. Under Swiss law, closed-ended collective investment schemes can take two forms:

  • Limited partnership for collective investment schemes (LP).

  • Investment company with fixed capital (SICAF).

For details of fund vehicles, see Question 8.

Unlike open-ended retails funds, investors of closed-ended collective investment schemes do not have any legal entitlement to request redemption of their interests at the NAV.

In relation to authorisation from FINMA:

  • For LPs, both the LP itself and the partnership agreement must be approved by FINMA.

  • For SICAFs, both the SICAF itself and its constitutional documents (for example, articles of association and the investment regulations) must be approved by FINMA.

All parties managing local collective investment schemes or safekeeping the assets of a local and/or foreign collective investment scheme in or from Switzerland must obtain authorisation from FINMA, including LPs and SICAFs (see above, Open-ended retail funds).

Foreign funds. Under Swiss law, closed-ended foreign funds are deemed to be companies and schemes with their registered office and main administrative office based in another jurisdiction, which is created for the purpose of collective capital investment, and whose investors are not entitled to redeem their units or shares at the NAV in relation to either:

  • The company itself.

  • A closely related company.

FINMA must provide authorisation before foreign investment funds can be distributed to Non-Qualified Investors in or from Switzerland. FINMA will approve the relevant documents of a foreign fund (for example, the articles of association, fund contract and the prospectus) if certain requirements are met (see above, Open-ended retail funds: Foreign funds). In addition, a Swiss paying agent and representative must be appointed for the distribution of units in Switzerland.

Marketing

4. Who can market retail funds?

Open-ended retail funds

Any person/entity planning to distribute local or foreign collective investment schemes on the retail market in or from Switzerland requires prior authorisation from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) as a distributor.

However, the following are exempt from obtaining a distribution licence (since they are already regulated by FINMA):

  • Banks.

  • Securities dealers.

  • Insurance companies.

  • Fund management companies.

  • Asset managers of collective investment schemes.

  • Representatives of foreign collective investment schemes.

Distribution of collective investment schemes includes any offering of and advertising for collective investment schemes not exclusively directed at regulated financial intermediaries (that is, collective investment schemes not exclusively directed at banks, securities dealers, fund management companies and asset managers of collective investment schemes, central banks, and regulated insurance companies).

Marketing activities constitute a "distribution" within the meaning of the Collective Investment Schemes Act (CISA). However, the following activities do not constitute distribution:

  • The provision of information and the subscription of collective investment schemes at the instigation of or at the own initiative of investors, especially in the context of investment advisory agreements or for execution-only transactions.

  • The provision of information and the subscription of collective investment schemes based on a written discretionary asset management agreement with a regulated financial intermediary.

  • The provision of information and the subscription of collective investment schemes, based on a written discretionary asset management agreement with an independent asset manager which:

    • acts in its capacity as a financial intermediary according to Swiss anti-money laundering regulations;

    • is governed by the code of conduct issued by a specific industry body (provided the code of conduct is recognised as the minimum standard by FINMA); or

    • is based on a discretionary asset management agreement that complies with the standards of a specific industry body (provided the standards are recognised as the minimum standard by FINMA).

  • The publication of prices, net asset values (NAVs) and tax data by regulated financial intermediaries, as long as the publication does not contain contact details.

  • The offering of stock option schemes in the form of collective investment schemes to employees.

Closed-ended retail funds

The rules for marketing closed-ended funds are the same as for open-ended funds (see above, Open-ended funds).

 
5. To whom can retail funds be marketed?

Open-ended retail funds

Local funds. Local open-ended collective investment schemes can be distributed to all types of investors (both Non-Qualified Investors and Qualified Investors) provided the collective investment scheme is authorised by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA).

Foreign funds. Foreign open-ended collective investment schemes can be distributed to all types of investors (both Non-Qualified Investors and Qualified Investors). However, distribution to Non-Qualified Investors is subject to prior approval by FINMA for certain investment fund documentation.

Closed-ended retail funds

For both local and foreign closed-ended funds, the rules are the same as for open-ended retail funds (see above, Open-ended retail funds).

Managers and operators

6. What are the key requirements that apply to managers or operators of retail funds?

Any parties managing or operating local and/or foreign collective investment schemes in or from Switzerland must obtain prior authorisation from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) (see Question 3).

Open-ended retail funds

Fund management companies. The primary object of the fund management company is the conduct of the fund business. Fund management companies:

  • Conduct the fund business for contractual investment funds (FCPs).

  • Perform the administration and the portfolio management for investment companies with variable capital (SICAVs) (to the extent such tasks have been delegated to the fund management company by the SICAVs).

The fund management company must be a company limited by shares and have its registered office and main administrative office in Switzerland. The main administrative office will be deemed located in Switzerland if all the following requirements are met:

  • The tasks of the board of directors (which are inalienable and non-transferable under Swiss corporate law) are carried out in Switzerland.

  • In relation to each of the investment funds it manages, at least the following tasks are carried out in Switzerland:

    • decision on the issue of units;

    • decision on the investment policy and valuation of the assets;

    • valuation of the assets;

    • determination of the issue and redemption prices;

    • determination of the profit distributions;

    • determination of the content of the prospectus, the simplified prospectus, the annual and semi-annual report as well as other publications intended for investors;

    • fund accounting.

Fund management companies can also provide the following ancillary services:

  • Discretionary management of individual portfolios.

  • Investment advisory services.

  • Safekeeping and technical administration of collective investment schemes.

  • Fund business for foreign collective investment schemes, provided an agreement exists on the co-operation and the exchange of information between FINMA and the relevant foreign supervisory authorities in relation to the fund business (and the foreign law requires such an agreement).

Fund management companies can also delegate certain other tasks to qualified third parties. However, the fund management company can only delegate investment decisions to asset managers of collective investment schemes subject to a recognised supervision (that is, asset managers that are either subject to the supervision of FINMA or of a foreign supervisory authority).

SICAVs. The sole object of a SICAV is collective capital investment. A self-managed SICAV performs its own administration. An externally-managed SICAV delegates the administration to an authorised fund management company (see above, Fund management companies). SICAVs can also delegate portfolio management to a fund management company. However, a SICAV (self-managed or externally managed) can only delegate investment decisions to an asset manager of collective investment schemes that is subject to a recognised supervision.

Asset managers. Asset managers make investment decisions and ensure that the proper conduct of portfolio and risk management for one or more (local or foreign) collective investment schemes is carried out. Asset managers of Swiss collective investment schemes manage investment funds based on a delegation from an FCP or a SICAV.

Asset managers of collective investment schemes with their registered office in Switzerland can be any of the following:

  • Legal entities, in the form of :

    • companies limited by shares;

    • partnerships limited by shares; or

    • limited liability companies.

  • General and limited partnerships.

  • Swiss branches of foreign asset managers of collective investment schemes, provided:

    • the asset manager, including its branch, is subject to an appropriate supervisory control at its registered office;

    • the asset manager is adequately organised and has commensurate financial resources and qualified personnel to operate a branch in Switzerland;

    • an agreement exists on co-operation and the exchange of information between FINMA and the relevant supervisory authorities.

A "Swiss branch of a foreign asset manager" means a foreign asset manager of a collective investment scheme that employs persons in Switzerland to conduct asset management on its behalf on a permanent, commercial basis in or from Switzerland, in accordance with the Collective Investment Schemes Act/Collective Investment Schemes Ordinance.

All asset managers of collective investment schemes operating in or from Switzerland require FINMA authorisation for their activities, regardless of whether they manage local or foreign collective investment schemes. However, the following exemptions apply:

  • De minimis. No FINMA authorisation is required for asset managers whose investors are solely Qualified Investors and which meet one of the following requirements:

    • the assets under management (including the assets acquired through the use of leveraged finance) amount to no more than CHF100 million;

    • the assets under management consist of non-leveraged collective investment schemes where investors are not permitted to exercise redemption rights for a period of five years after their first investment is made in each of these collective investment schemes, and the amount is for no more than CHF500 million;

    • the investors are exclusively group companies of the group of companies to which the asset manager belongs.

  • Regulated financial intermediaries. Swiss banks, securities dealers, insurance companies, and fund management companies are exempt from obtaining an asset manager's licence (since they are already subject to the prudential supervision of FINMA).

Asset managers can also perform ancillary services, including:

  • Fund business for foreign collective investment schemes, provided an agreement exists on the co-operation and the exchange of information between FINMA and the relevant foreign supervisory authorities in relation to the fund business and the foreign law requires such an agreement.

  • Discretionary management of individual portfolio.

  • Investment advisory services.

  • Distribution of collective investment schemes.

  • Representation of foreign collective investment schemes.

Delegation of specific tasks to qualified persons is permitted. Asset managers can only delegate investment decisions to asset managers of collective investment schemes that are subject to a recognised supervision

Closed-ended retail funds

Limited partnerships (LPs). An LP's sole object is collective capital investment. An LP performs its own administration. LPs can delegate investment decisions and specific tasks to qualified third parties, provided this is in the interest of efficient management.

Portfolio management for investment companies with fixed capital (SICAFs). This is the same as for LPs of closed-ended retail funds (see above, LPs).

Asset managers. This is the same as for asset managers of open-ended retails funds (see above, Open-ended retail funds: Assets managers).

Assets portfolio

7. Who holds the portfolio of assets? What regulations are in place for its protection?

Open-ended retail funds

Investment companies with variable capital (SICAVs) and fund management companies of contractual investment funds (FCPs) must entrust the safekeeping of the fund's assets to a custodian bank. The custodian must be both:

  • A Swiss bank (that is, must hold a banking licence pursuant to the Swiss Federal Act on Banks and Savings Institutions).

  • Authorised by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) to act as custodian bank pursuant to the Collective Investment Schemes Act (CISA).

The custodian bank is party to the fund contract in accordance with the tasks conferred on it by the law and the fund contract. The tasks, which the custodian bank of an open-ended fund is responsible for, include:

  • The safekeeping of the fund's assets.

  • The issue and redemption of the fund's units or shares.

  • The payment transfers on behalf of the fund.

  • Ensuring that the FCP's fund management or the SICAV complies with the CISA and relevant fund regulation.

The custodian bank can transfer the responsibility for the safekeeping of the fund's assets to third-party custodians and depositories in Switzerland and abroad, provided this is in the interest of efficient safekeeping (however, investors must be informed in the prospectus about the risks associated with such delegation).

In addition, FINMA can grant exemptions from the duty to appoint a custodian bank for a SICAV, provided:

  • The exemption can be justified.

  • The fund is exclusively for Qualified Investors.

  • The transactions are processed by regulated brokers.

If a Swiss custodian bank becomes bankrupt, the assets held by it in custody are not included in the bank's bankruptcy estate. Instead, the assets (except cash deposited with the custodian bank) are segregated from the bank's bankruptcy estate in favour of the FCP's fund management company or the SICAV, subject to any claims by the custodian bank against the respective depositor. A similar treatment applies in the case of the bankruptcy of an FCP's fund management company, which means that assets and rights belonging to the investment fund will be segregated in favour of the investors in such case.

Closed-ended retail funds

As with open-ended funds, the assets of an investment company with fixed capital (SICAF) must be deposited with a Swiss custodian bank (see above, Open-ended retail funds). However, the CISA does not stipulate this obligation for limited partnerships for collective investment schemes (LPs).

If the fund's assets are not held with a Swiss bank within the meaning of the Swiss Federal Act on Banks and Savings Institutions, they are generally not subject to a special treatment in the case of the fund's bankruptcy. However, the same rules as for open-ended funds will apply if the assets of a closed-ended fund are deposited with a Swiss bank (see above, Open-ended retail funds).

Legal fund vehicles

8. What are the main legal vehicles used to set up a retail fund and what are the key advantages and disadvantages of using these structures?

Open-ended retail funds

Legal vehicles. The legal vehicles used for Swiss open-ended retail funds are:

  • Contractual investment funds (FCPs). An FCP is based on a collective investment agreement (fund contract). Under the fund contract, the fund management company commits itself to both:

    • involve the investors in accordance with the units they have acquired in the fund;

    • manage the fund's assets in accordance with the fund contract.

    The custodian bank is also party to the fund contract (see Question 7).

    The fund management company is responsible for:

    • drawing up the fund contract; and

    • submitting the fund contract to the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) for approval.

    The fund contract contains information on (among other things):

    • investor eligibility;

    • investment policy and techniques;

    • classes of units;

    • investors' right of cancellation;

    • calculation of the net asset value and of the issue and redemption prices;

    • the type, amount and calculation of all fees, and the issue and redemption commission.

    The FCP's fund management company must:

    • be a company limited by shares, incorporated in Switzerland;

    • have its main administration in Switzerland;

    • have a minimum capital of at least CHF1 million and an appropriate organisational structure.

    The fund management company manages the fund at its own discretion and in its own name but for the account of the investors. It can also delegate investment decisions and specific tasks subject to certain conditions. The fund management company holds the assets of the fund in a fiduciary capacity for the investors. The investors' interests in the FCP are called "units".

  • Investment companies with variable capital (SICAVs). This is an open-ended fund in corporate form with own legal personality (that is, a company). It is incorporated based on the provisions of the Swiss Code of Obligations for companies limited by shares, subject to certain exceptions and additional conditions.

    The sole object of a SICAV is collective capital investment. A SICAV's capital and number of shares are not specified in advance, and its capital is divided into company shares and investor shares. SICAVs are only liable in relation to their company assets.

    The company shareholders (that is, the funds's promotors or sponsors) contribute the capital necessary for the incorporation of the SICAV. They also have the right to decide whether the SICAV is to be dissolved. In other respects, the company shareholders and the investor shareholders have the same rights and obligations. Each share carries one vote. A SICAV can issue new investor shares at the net asset value (NAV) at any time and must, if requested by an investor, redeem issued shares at the NAV (see also Question 10).

    The SICAV can delegate investment decisions to authorised asset managers of collective investment schemes and the administration to an authorised fund management company. Accordingly, a SICAV can be self-managed or externally managed.

    The constituent documents of a SICAV are its:

    • articles of association; and

    • investment regulations.

    The participants' interests are called "shares".

Advantages. From the investor's perspective, SICAVs have an advantage over contractual funds, in that the SICAV structure allows investors to have membership rights (voting and control rights) in the fund. However, the preferred vehicle for Swiss retail funds is (and is likely to remain) FCPs. This is because the fund management company of the FCP can also provide asset management and investment advisory services to third parties and administrative services to other investment funds.

Disadvantages. A SICAV can only manage its own assets. It is specifically prohibited from rendering other services for third parties.

Closed-ended retail funds

Legal vehicles. Legal vehicles used for Swiss closed-ended funds are:

  • Investment companies with fixed assets (SICAFs). A SICAF is a company limited by shares pursuant to the Swiss Code of Obligations, which is not listed on a Swiss stock exchange and has the sole objective of collective capital investment. Investment companies are not subject to the CISA if they are either:

    • listed on a Swiss stock exchange;

    • only available to Qualified Investors and their shares are registered shares.

    The primary goal of a SICAF is to generate income and/or capital gains, but it does not pursue any entrepreneurial activities in the true sense. SICAFs can only delegate investment decisions and specific tasks if it is in the interest of efficient management. The governing bodies of the SICAF must hold treasury shares in a certain percentage of the total assets of the SICAF, as follows:

    • 1% of the part up to CHF50 million;

    • 0.75% of the part between CHF50 million and CHF100 million;

    • 0.50% of the part between CHF100 million and CHF150 million;

    • 0.25% of the part between CHF150 million and CHF250 million;

    • 0.125% of the part exceeding CHF250 million (capped at a maximum of CHF20 million).

    The participants' interests in the SICAF are called "shares".

  • Limited partnerships for collective investment schemes (LPs). An LP is a partnership that is incorporated based on the provisions of the Swiss Code of Obligations in relation to limited partnerships. The sole objective of an LP is collective capital investment. At least one member bears unlimited liability (the general partner), while the other members (the limited partners) are only liable up to their contribution. General partners must be Swiss companies limited by shares. A general partner can only be the general partner of one single LP but not of several LPs.

    LPs can invest in the risk capital of companies and projects as well as construction, real estate and infrastructure projects, and alternative investments.

    Therefore, LPs can take control of the voting rights in companies and hold seats in their governing bodies.

    Limited partners must be Qualified Investors and LPs are not open to Non-Qualified Investors. Therefore, strictly speaking, Swiss closed-ended retail funds cannot be established in the form of LPs.

Advantages. SICAFs are open to Non-Qualified Investors, while the partners of an LP must be Qualified Investors. LPs have less restrictive investment rules compared to other forms of collective investment schemes.

Disadvantages. SICAFs and LPs can only manage their own assets. They are specifically prohibited from rendering other services on behalf of third parties.

There presently are no SICAFs authorised in Switzerland. This is mainly due to the unfavorable tax treatment of SICAFs, which leads to taxation at both the company and investors' levels (see also Question 13).

Investment and borrowing restrictions

9. What are the investment and borrowing restrictions on retail funds?

Open-ended retail funds

The investment and borrowing rules and restrictions for contractual investment funds (FCPs) and investment companies with variable capital (SICAVs) primarily depend on the specific type of fund. The following qualify as a type of fund:

  • Securities funds.

  • Real estate funds.

  • Other funds for traditional investments.

  • Other funds for alternative investments.

The different rules and restrictions for these types of fund are set out in the Collective Investment Schemes Act (CISA), the Collective Investment Schemes Ordinance (CISO) and the Collective Investment Schemes Ordinance of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (CISO-FINMA). In addition to these general regulatory rules, specific additional rules and restrictions for the individual fund can be determined in:

  • For FCPs, the fund contract.

  • For SICAVs, the articles of association and investment regulations.

Securities funds. Securities funds mainly invest in transferable securities issued on a large scale and non-certificated rights with the same function (book-entry securities), which are traded on a stock exchange (or other regulated market) that is open to the public. Subject to applicable restrictions, securities funds can also:

  • Undertake securities lending.

  • Enter into repurchase agreements.

  • Borrow funds.

  • Provide collateral.

  • Undertake derivatives transactions.

The fund management company and SICAV must comply with the principles of risk diversification in relation to their investments. For example, the voting rights acquired through the purchase of securities or rights in a single issuer or company must not exceed a certain threshold (usually 10%).

Real estate funds. Real estate funds mainly invest their assets in:

  • Property.

  • Real estate companies.

  • Units in other real estate funds.

  • Foreign real estate assets.

Investments must be diversified by type of property, purpose of usage, age, building fabric and location. Subject to certain restrictions, real estate funds can also undertake derivatives transactions.

Other funds for traditional investments. Other funds for traditional investments can invest, in particular, in:

  • Securities.

  • Precious metals.

  • Real estate.

  • Derivatives and structured products.

  • Units of other collective investment schemes.

These funds can also engage in short-selling. Exceptions from the applicable regulations can be granted by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) on a case-by-case basis in relation to the permitted investments, investment techniques, restrictions and risk diversification.

Applicable restrictions include the following:

  • Loans can only be raised for an amount not exceeding 25% of the fund's net assets.

  • No more than 60% of the fund's net assets can serve as collateral.

  • Overall exposure can only be up to 225% of the fund's net assets.

Other funds for alternative investments. The permitted investments for these funds are basically the same as for traditional investments (see above). Short-selling is also permitted and the FINMA can also grant exceptions. However, funds for alternative investments are subject to lower restrictions compared to funds for traditional investments, as follows:

  • Loans can be raised for an amount up to 50% of the fund's net assets.

  • Up to 100% of the fund's net assets can serve as collateral.

  • Overall exposure can be up to 600% of the fund's net assets.

Closed-ended retail funds

Investment companies with fixed capital (SICAFs). SICAFs can invest in the same assets as the open-ended fund type "other funds" (see above, Open-ended retail funds: Other funds for traditional investments and Other funds for alternative investments). However, the SICAF's articles of association and investment regulations must define:

  • The investments.

  • The investment policy.

  • The investment and borrowing restrictions.

  • The risk diversification.

If the risk profile of a SICAF is typical of either traditional or alternative investments (see above, Open-ended retail funds: Other funds for traditional investments and Other funds for alternative investments), the relevant investment and borrowing restrictions for these types of funds apply.

Limited partnerships for collective investment schemes (LPs). LPs are permitted to invest in risk capital of companies and projects, construction, real estate and infrastructure projects and in alternative investments. The investments in companies or projects can be in the form of equity capital, lending or mezzanine financing. The investment policy must be set out in the partnership agreement.

 
10. Can the manager or operator place any restrictions on the issue and redemption of interests in retail funds?

Open-ended retail funds

Local open-ended funds can issue new units or shares at any time in accordance with the fund regulations. Equally, investors can, as a rule, request the redemption of their units or shares in investment companies with variable capital (SICAVs) and contractual investment funds (FCPs) at the net asset value (NAV) at any time.

However, the regulations of a fund, whose value is difficult to calculate or which has limited marketability, can provide that redemption can only be requested on specific dates, but at least four times per year. This must then be explicitly stated in the fund regulations, the prospectus and the simplified prospectus.

In addition, on a justified request by the FCP's fund management company or SICAV, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) can restrict the right of redemption at any time, depending on the particular investments and investment policy of the fund. This especially applies if the fund invests in the following:

  • Assets not listed or not traded on a regulated market open to the public.

  • Mortgages.

  • Private equity.

The restrictions must equally be stated in the fund regulations, the prospectus and the simplified prospectus. However, in both cases the right to redeem at any time can only be suspended for a maximum of five years.

The SICAV and FCP's fund regulations can also provide for repayment to be deferred temporarily and on an exceptional basis in the following circumstances:

  • Where a market, which serves as the basis for the valuation of a significant proportion of the fund's assets is closed, or if trading on such market is restricted or suspended.

  • In the event of political, economic, military, monetary or other emergencies.

  • If, owing to exchange controls or restrictions on other asset transfers, the fund can no longer transact its business.

  • In the event of large-scale withdrawals of units or shares, which may significantly endanger the interests of the other investors.

The SICAV or FCP must immediately inform the FINMA and its auditors of any decision to defer redemptions and communicate the decision to its investors in a suitable manner.

In addition, in exceptional circumstances FINMA can grant a limited deferment for the repayment of units or shares, if this is in the interests of all investors.

Closed-ended retail funds

Investors cannot request the redemption of their shares in an investment company with fixed capital (SICAF).

In the case of a limited partnership for collective investment (LP), the partnership agreement determines the rules of redemption of interests in the LP.

 
11. Are there any restrictions on the rights of participants in retail funds to transfer or assign their interests to third parties?

Open-ended retail funds

Contractual investment funds (FCPs). There are no statutory restrictions on transferring the investors' units of an FCP. However, restrictions can be determined in the fund contract.

Investment companies with variable capital (SICAVs). The shares in a retail SICAV are freely transferable. However, the articles of association may restrict investor eligibility to Qualified Investors if the shares are not listed on an exchange.

Closed-ended retail funds

Investment companies with fixed capital (SICAFs). The transferability of shares in SICAFs is subject to the provisions of the Swiss Code of Obligations. The shares are freely transferable provided the SICAF's articles of association do not contain transfer restrictions. If restrictions apply, the board of directors of the SICAF can:

  • Deny a transfer, based on grounds set out in the SICAF's articles of association.

  • Make an offer to the seller of the shares to take over the shares at their intrinsic value for its own account, the account of other shareholders or the account of third parties.

A further reason for denial exists where the acquirer does not expressly declare that it has acquired the shares in its own name and for its own account.

Limited partnerships for collective investment schemes (LPs). The partnership agreement determines the rules and restrictions for the transfer of interests in the LP. The model partnership agreement published by the Swiss Funds & Asset Management Association provides for the following rules:

  • Limited partners can sell their interests to other limited partners (provided the number of limited partners does not fall below five) or to third parties (provided the third parties are Qualified Investors).

  • Interests must first be offered to the other limited partners.

  • Transfers to third parties require the prior approval of the general partner.

Reporting requirements

12. What are the general periodic reporting requirements for retail funds?

Open-ended retail funds

Investors. The following must be published in an appropriate publication media:

  • All facts subject to a disclosure requirement (in relation to which investors are entitled to lodge objections with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA)) (see below).

  • The dissolution of an investment fund.

The fund prospectus determines the applicable publication media, which can be either:

In particular, the following must be published by the contractual investment fund's (FCP) fund management company or the investment company with variable capital (SICAV):

  • Annual report, indicating where the report can be obtained free of charge, within four months of the end of the financial year.

  • Semi-annual report, indicating where the report can be obtained free of charge, within two months of the end of the first half of the financial year.

  • The issue and redemption price or net asset value (NAV) each time units or shares are issued or redeemed. Prices for securities funds must be published at least twice a month and prices for real estate funds and funds where the right of redemption at any time is restricted must be published at least once a month.

  • Details of any amendments to the following (including an indication of where the amendments can be obtained free of charge):

    • prospectus, simplified prospectus or key investor information document (KIID);

    • fund contract or articles of association and investment regulations.

In addition, investors are entitled to request further information from the FCP's fund management company or SICAV about:

  • The basis for the calculation of the NAV.

  • Further details on individual businesses.

  • The exercise of membership or creditors' rights or risk management upon claiming a legitimate interest.

Regulators. FINMA must be notified in relation to:

  • Any change in the persons responsible for the management and business operations (and any facts which could question the good reputation and guarantee of proper management by these persons).

  • Any change in significant equity holders, with the exception of company shareholders in a SICAV (and any facts which could question either the good reputation of such equity holders, or the prudent and sound business practice, due to the influence of the significant equity holders).

  • Any change in relation to the financial guarantees, particularly if the minimum requirements are no longer met.

  • Any change of executive persons entrusted with the performance of the custodian bank's duties.

  • Any amendments to any of the following:

    • prospectus, simplified prospectus or KIID;

    • fund contract or articles of association and investment regulations.

FINMA must approve any change of circumstances relevant to the continued authorisation of the collective investment scheme.

In relation to foreign collective investment schemes, the Swiss representative must notify FINMA of:

  • Any measures taken by a foreign supervisory authority against the fund, specifically its withdrawal of approval.

  • Any changes to the relevant documents of the foreign fund such as:

    • the prospectus, simplified prospectus or KIID;

    • the fund contract or articles of association and investment regulations;

    • any other documents necessary for approval under applicable foreign laws and those for Swiss collective investment schemes.

Closed-ended retail funds

Investors. The reporting requirements for closed-ended retail funds are essentially the same as for open-ended retail funds (see above, Open-ended retail funds).

Regulators. The reporting requirements for closed-ended retail funds are essentially the same as for open-ended retail funds (see above, Open-ended retail funds).

Tax treatment

13. What is the tax treatment for retail funds?

Open-ended retail funds

Swiss tax law does not differentiate between open-ended and closed-ended retail funds and hedge funds. The tax treatment outlined below is therefore the same for all of these funds.

Funds. The following applies to open-ended and closed-ended retail funds and hedge funds:

  • Corporate income tax. Contractual investment funds (FCPs), investment companies with variable capital (SICAVs) and limited partnerships for collective investment schemes (LPs) are generally tax-transparent and therefore not subject to corporate income tax. The fund's income is taxed in the hands of the investors (see below, Resident investors). The only exception applies to income derived from directly-owned real estate which is subject to corporate income tax at the level of the fund, but at reduced rates. Investment companies with fixed capital (SICAFs) are closed-ended investment companies and subject to corporate income tax at ordinary rates.

  • Capital tax. Capital tax is levied at cantonal and communal level. Transparent funds such as FCPs, SICAVs and LPs are only subject to capital tax for directly-owned real estate. SICAFs are subject to cantonal and communal capital tax (at rates depending on the specific tax domicile within Switzerland).

  • Withholding tax. Profit distributions or accumulated profits from non-distributing (yearly deemed distributions) FCPs, SICAVs and LPs are subject to a 35% withholding tax. However, to the extent that such distributions or accumulated profits derive from real estate, no withholding tax is due. Further, capital gains and capital contributions by the investors can also be distributed without being subject to withholding tax, provided they are reported separately. Distributions, but not accumulated profits, of SICAFs are subject to withholding tax at a rate of 35%.

  • Issuance stamp tax. The issue of interests or shares in FCPs, SICAVs or LPs is not subject to issuance stamp tax. However, an issue of shares in a SICAF is subject to issuance stamp tax at a rate of 1% on the total consideration received by the SICAF in consideration for the issue of shares. There is an exemption from issuance stamp tax for SICAFs for the first CHF1 million.

  • Transfer stamp tax. The issue of interests or shares in Swiss FCPs, SICAVs, LPs and SICAFs is exempt from transfer stamp tax.

Resident investors. The following tax considerations are only applicable to resident individual investors who hold the interests or shares in an FCP, SICAV, LP or SICAF as private assets:

  • Income tax. Distributions or accumulated profits of non-distributing FCPs, SICAVs and LPs are in principle subject to income tax at the level of the individual investors. Distributions or accumulated profits stemming from realised capital gains or from directly-owned real estate are not subject to income tax, provided they are reported separately by the collective investment scheme. Income derived from foreign open-ended collective investment schemes are subject to the same taxation rules. Distributions from SICAFs and foreign closed-ended collective investment schemes are subject to income tax, regardless of the source of income at the level of the SICAF. Capital gains derived from the sale of interests or shares in collective investment schemes are not subject to income tax.

  • Withholding tax. Withholding tax withheld from distributions or remitted on accumulated profits can be fully reclaimed by resident investors based on national law.

  • Transfer stamp tax. The issue of interests or shares in foreign collective investments schemes is subject to 0.15% (foreign investment schemes being exempt investors) transfer stamp tax, provided a Swiss securities dealer is involved in the transaction. Secondary market transactions in Swiss FCPs, SICAVs, LPs or SICAFs are subject to transfer stamp tax at a rate of 0.075% per party, provided a Swiss securities dealer is involved in the transaction. For interests and shares in foreign collective investment schemes, the transfer stamp tax rate amounts to 0.15% per party.

Non-resident investors. Non-resident investors are not subject to Swiss income tax simply because of an investment in a Swiss FCP, SICAV, LP or SICAF. Withholding tax on distributions or accumulated profits of non-distributing funds is levied independently of the state of residence of the investor (see above, Funds). If at least 80% of the fund's income is from foreign sources, a non-resident investor can reclaim the withholding tax based on national law (or alternatively, the Federal Tax Administration may not levy the withholding tax at all). If the foreign sourced income amounts to less than 80%, a non-resident investor can potentially reclaim (part of) the withholding tax based on a double tax treaty between Switzerland and the non-resident investor's state of residence.

Closed-ended retail funds

Funds. Swiss tax law does not differentiate between open-ended and closed-ended retail funds (see above, Open-ended retail funds: Funds).

Resident investors. Swiss tax law does not differentiate between open-ended and closed-ended retail funds (see above, Open-ended retail funds: Resident investors).

Non-resident investors. Swiss tax law does not differentiate between open-ended and closed-ended retail funds (see above, Open-ended retail funds: Non-resident investors).

Quasi-retail funds

14. Is there a market for quasi-retail funds in your jurisdiction?

There is no market for quasi-retail funds in Switzerland.

Reform

15. What proposals (if any) are there for the reform of retail fund regulation?

The Swiss financial market regulation is currently undergoing major changes. Existing rules already have or will soon be complemented or replaced by new laws, in particular by the following:

  • Financial Market Infrastructure Act (FMIA).

  • Financial Services Act (FSA).

  • Financial Institutions Act (FINIA).

The FMIA entered into force on 1 January 2016, while the Swiss Federal Council's dispatch including revised draft bills for the FSA and FINIA was published in late 2015, with the parliamentary review to follow. It is expected that the FSA and FINIA will enter into force no earlier than in 2017, possibly only in 2018. The proposed FSA and FINIA will also have an impact on Swiss collective investment schemes regulation, for example:

  • The licensing of fund management companies and asset managers of collective investment schemes (newly designated as managers of collective assets) will be governed by FINIA.

  • The provisions on distribution in the CISA will be deleted and the distributor licence will be abandoned.

  • The definition of distribution under the CISA will be replaced by the definition of offering under the FSA.

  • The offering of foreign collective investment schemes to qualified investors will no longer require the appointment of a Swiss representative and a Swiss paying agent.

  • The FSA will contain a definition of professional clients and the definition of qualified investors under the CISA will be amended accordingly.

  • A duty to prepare a basic information sheet will be introduced by the FSA if collective investment schemes are offered to private clients (which shall replace the KIID and simplified prospectus).

  • The draft FSA also contains rules of conduct that will apply in addition to those already set forth in the CISA.

  • The Federal Council may specify on ordinance level that the representatives of foreign collective investment schemes no longer require a separate license if they are subject to an equivalent supervision.

As the parliamentary review of the proposed FSA and FINIA is pending, substantial amendments to the draft acts are to be expected.

 

Hedge funds

16. What is the structure of the hedge funds market? What have been the main trends over the last year?

To date, Switzerland has not been a very significant domicile for single hedge funds.

However, Switzerland is a major market for the placement of funds of offshore hedge fund products and an attractive jurisdiction for the management and distribution of foreign hedge funds.

On 28 February 2015, certain transition periods under CISA expired. Since 1 March 2015, all asset managers of foreign collective investment schemes surpassing the de minimis threshold must apply for a FINMA licence (see Question 6). Additionally, all foreign collective investment schemes distributed in Switzerland exclusively to Qualified Investors must appoint a Swiss representative and a Swiss paying agent. Therefore, in 2015 a significant number of asset managers based in Switzerland applied for a FINMA licence and a great number of offshore collective investment schemes appointed a Swiss representative and a Swiss paying agent to continue their activities in Switzerland.

The changes in Swiss legislation also apply to hedge funds (see Question 1). The developments regarding the extension of the passport under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) to Switzerland and Switzerland based asset managers are particularly relevant to hedge funds.

Regulatory framework and bodies

17. What are the key statutes and regulations that govern hedge funds in your jurisdiction? Which regulatory bodies regulate hedge funds?

Regulatory framework

The regulatory framework for retail funds applies (see Question 2, Open-ended funds: Regulatory framework).

Regulatory bodies

These are the same as for retail funds (see Question 2, Open-ended funds: Regulatory bodies).

 
18. How are hedge funds regulated (if at all) to ensure compliance with general international standards of good practice?

The considerations for retail funds regulation also apply to hedge funds (see Questions 2, 9 and 12). There is no additional specific regulation that applies exclusively to local hedge funds.

Marketing

19. Who can market hedge funds?

The considerations for retail funds also apply to hedge funds (see Question 4).

However, less stringent rules apply if foreign collective investment schemes are exclusively marketed to Qualified Investors. Authorisation from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) is not required to distribute foreign collective investment schemes, if all of the following requirements are met:

  • The foreign collective investment schemes are exclusively distributed to Qualified Investors.

  • The distributing financial intermediary is adequately supervised in its home jurisdiction.

  • A licensed representative of the foreign collective investment scheme and paying agent in Switzerland are appointed.

  • The name of the collective investment scheme does not give rise to any deception or confusion.

No distribution licence is required for the marketing of Swiss collective investment schemes exclusively to Qualified Investors.

 
20. To whom can hedge funds be marketed?

The considerations for retail funds also apply to hedge funds (see Question 5).

Investment restrictions

21. Are there any restrictions on local investors investing in a hedge fund?

The considerations for retail funds also apply to hedge funds (see Question 9).

Assets portfolio

22. Who holds the portfolio of assets? What regulations are in place for its protection?

The considerations for retail funds also apply to hedge funds (see Question 7).

Requirements

23. What are the key disclosure or filing requirements (if any) that must be completed by the hedge fund?

The considerations for retail funds also apply to hedge funds (see Questions 3 and 12).

 
24. What are the key requirements that apply to managers or operators of hedge funds?

The considerations for retail funds also apply to hedge funds (see Question 6).

Legal fund vehicles and structures

 
25. What are the main legal vehicles used to set up a hedge fund and what are the key advantages and disadvantages of using these structures?

Local hedge funds are mostly structured as funds of hedge funds in the form of open-ended funds (either contractual investment funds (FCPs) or investment companies with variable capital (SICAVs)) of the category "other funds for alternative investments" (see Question 9). In addition, limited partnerships for collective investment schemes (LPs) offer a vehicle for local single hedge funds. However, LPs are not open for Non-Qualified Investors (see Question 8).

Swiss investment fund regulation does not provide for additional vehicles specifically designed for hedge funds.

Tax treatment

 
26. What is the tax treatment for hedge funds?

Funds

The tax treatment is the same as for retail funds (see Question 13, Funds).

Resident investors

The tax treatment is the same as for retail funds (see Question 13, Resident investors).

Non-resident investors

The tax treatment is the same as for retail funds (see Question 13, Non-resident investors).

Restrictions

27. Can participants redeem their interest? Are there any restrictions on the right of participants to transfer their interests to third parties?

Redemption of interest

The considerations for retail funds also apply to hedge funds (see Question 10).

Transfer to third parties

The considerations for retail funds also apply to hedge funds (see Question 11).

Reform

28. What (if any) proposals are there for the reform of hedge fund regulation?
 

Online resources

Swiss Federal authorities

W www.admin.ch/gov/de/start/bundesrecht/systematische-sammlung.html

Description. Official website of the Swiss Federal authorities. Contains the official texts of Swiss Federal legislation. Unofficial English-language translations of the CISA, the CISO and the CISO-FINMA are accessible on the English-language version of this website.

Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA)

W www.finma.ch

Description. Official website of the FINMA. Official texts of rules and regulations of the FINMA applicable to collective investment schemes are accessible on this website. The English-language version of the website also contains some English-language versions of these rules and regulations.



Contributor profiles

Patricia Adams, Senior Associate

Pestalozzi Attorneys at Law

T +41 44 217 93 70
F +41 44 217 92 17
E patricia.adams@pestalozzilaw.com
W www.pestalozzilaw.com

Professional qualifications. Switzerland, Attorney at law

Areas of practice. Capital markets; financial services regulations; banking; investment funds; domestic and cross-border financing transactions; securities; asset management; corporate and commercial law.

Languages. English, German, French

Johannes Stähelin, Senior Associate

Pestalozzi Attorneys at Law

T +41 44 217 92 02
F +41 44 217 92 17
E johannes.staehelin@pestalozzilaw.com
W www.pestalozzilaw.com

Professional qualifications. Switzerland, Attorney at law

Areas of practice. Capital markets; financial services regulation; banking and finance; investment funds; securities; corporate and commercial law.

Languages. English, German, French


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