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Swiss Funds Association welcomes approval by the European Parliament

Thursday, November 11, 2010
Opalesque Industry Update – At today’s vote, the European Parliament passed the AIFM Directive. Although there are still numerous legal terms that have to be defined in more specific detail over the coming months, the Swiss Funds Association SFA welcomes this decision.

Compared with the draft presented in April 2009, the directive in its present form contains two significant improvements from the Swiss perspective:

1. Under the AIFM Directive there remains the possibility for portfolio management and/or risk management for an Alternative Investment Fund established in the EU to be delegated to a Swiss-domiciled manager, provided the latter is subject to FINMA supervision.

2. Swiss asset managers may at a later date acquire authorization in respect of marketing in one or more EU member states, or even an EU Passport. For this, however, they must comply with comparable requirements to those applicable to EU managers.

In addition to this, Switzerland will also have to meet certain conditions, e.g. concluding supervisory cooperation agreements and double taxation treaties (OECD 26).

“At this juncture, we believe this will be achievable. This will also require certain amendments to the Collective Investment Schemes Act, which the SFA actively supports. The Swiss authorities responsible should now implement the necessary measures as quickly as possible in close cooperation with the industry associations,” said SFA President Martin Thommen.

“Even under the AIFM Directive, our country remains an attractive location for asset managers from the hedge fund and private equity sectors. For this, however, Switzerland’s advantages as a third country must be harnessed with regulation that remains pragmatic and is oriented towards the reduced need for protection among institutional investors,” explained SFA CEO Dr. Matthäus Den Otter.

(press release)

The Swiss Funds Association SFA, which was established in Basel in 1992, is the representative association of the Swiss fund and asset management industry. Its members include all the major Swiss fund management companies, many representatives of foreign collective investment schemes, and asset managers of collective investment schemes. These cover more than 95% of the fund assets distributed in Switzerland. Among the SFA’s members there are also numerous other service providers active in the collective investment schemes sector. The SFA is an active member of the Brussels-based European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) and the globally active International Investment Funds Association (IIFA), which is based in Montreal. In the alternative investments sector, it works together closely with the London-based Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA).

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