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Alternative Market Briefing

Zurich Baker & McKenzie partner gives briefing on regulatory change in Swiss financial world

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Beverly Chandler, Opalesque London: Marnin Michaels, Practice Group Leader of the Baker & McKenzie Zurich Wealth Management practice, has given a presentation on various types of information exchange agreements that are currently in play globally and their impact on western currencies, particularly as reference currencies.

The briefing began with a discussion of recent developments impacting the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), examining the new regulation particularly from the Swiss viewpoint. In particular, Michaels looked at the Swiss-US intergovernmental agreement (IGA). Michaels stated, "The intergovernmental agreement may not be perfect, but for the Swiss marketplace was probably the best result that could have occurred."

Michaels also commented that from a tactical perspective it is clear that the Swiss government focused on industries in which they were likely to get movement rather than areas where it is not realistic to expect significant results. "For example, the insurance, fund management and pension industries have effectively been removed from the entire FATCA discussion" he said. "This is extremely significant for very large portions of the financial services sector in Switzerland."

Michaels then discussed in detail the impact on the wealth management sector of the FATCA final regulations issued in January. Of particular concern is that the final ......................

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