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Alternative Market Briefing

Switzerland seeks to be on the same regulatory page as other top financial markets

Monday, April 16, 2012

By Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva:

The FT published an article this weekend claiming newly proposed financial regulations coming out of Switzerland would affect hedge fund managers negatively. The proposals were in fact issued in February by FINMA, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority. They are being looked into by various Swiss government bodies – and would put Switzerland on a similar regulatory page as that of other main financial centres.

In an age where hedge funds expect to be registered, supervised, triple-checked by their potential investors, and even wire-tapped by investigation authorities, this is not such a big deal.

With a view to protect financial clients, FINMA advocated better transparency from banks, insurers and portfolio managers. It wants financial services providers to supply better documentation with more complete description of products, and prospectuses. The supervisor also wants to extend its powers, so that "portfolio managers, for example, should in future be allowed to exercise their wide-ranging powers of decision with regard to the investment of client assets only if they have been authorised by FINMA." Client advisors would also take a compulsory test and follow ongoing training. These measures a......................

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