Martin Thommen Opalesque Industry Update – The Swiss asset management and funds sector performed well in 2010, and is looking optimistically to the future. The focus this year will be on seeking to consistently identify and implement further improvements in the operating environment.
As of the end of 2010, there were 7,191 collective investment schemes authorized for public sale in Switzerland (2009: 6,502), of which 1,400 were products under Swiss law (2009: 1,343).
“The Swiss funds and asset management sector has recovered well from the financial crisis, and is back on track. There is certainly further potential on the upside, given that investor confidence has still not completely returned. However, Switzerland is well equipped for the future, and ready to successfully master the challenges that lie ahead,” explained SFA President Martin Thommen.
2010 also saw the launch of the SFA’s funds campaign and significant regulatory efforts at the EU level. The owl ads, the information platform www.myfund.ch, the pilot funds event in Küssnacht am Rigi and numerous appearances by SFA representatives contributed to spreading fund-related knowledge.
The SFA’s dogged commitment to revisions in the Directive on Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFM) also paid off, with the final version bringing improvements for Switzerland and its asset managers compared with the original draft. The Swiss authorities responsible should now look to implement the necessary measures as quickly as possible in close cooperation with the industry associations.
Against the backdrop of UCITS IV, the focus for Switzerland is on replacing the simplified prospectus with the new Key Investor Information Document (KID). “We will endeavor to ensure that the introduction of the KID for Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) of Swiss market participants takes place at the same time as the EU. This also has to be looked into for Swiss retail funds, but they will need more time. For this, certain amendments will have to be made to the Swiss Federal Act on Collective Investment Schemes (CISA). This will make it possible to achieve the improvements in the operating environment for Swiss collective investment schemes that legislators have been striving for,” said SFA CEO Dr. Matthäus Den Otter.
Changes and increase in membership
SFA membership has enjoyed marked growth in recent years, and there was a further increase of around 10% in 2010 to 171. The SFA’s member numbers have thus doubled since 2004, this despite various companies merging or ceasing business operations. The following companies were admitted as new members of the SFA:
The Swiss Funds Association SFA, which was established in Basel in 1992, is the representative association of the Swiss fund and asset management industry. www.sfa.ch