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Alternative Market Briefing

New Swiss rules on distribution of funds come into force on March 1st

Friday, February 13, 2015

Anne-Cathrine Frogg
Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva:

A new regime governing the distribution of non-Swiss funds to Swiss investors comes fully into force on 1 March 2015.

According to a report from Schulte Roth & Zabel, a global law firm, the new regime segments Swiss investors into three categories:

(1) unregulated qualified investors (pension plans, corporates, family offices, family trusts and high-net-worth individuals); (2) regulated qualified investors (a more restricted list of Swiss-regulated financial entities, such as banks, securities dealers, fund managers and insurance companies); and (3) non-qualified investors (effectively retail).

Investment managers who expect to be distributing their funds to unregulated qualified investors (1) in Switzerland on or after 1 March 2015 must comply with new requirements, which include, amongst other things, for the fund to appoint a Swiss-licensed representative and a Swiss bank as a paying agent. The fund’s investment manager must also enter into a distribution agreement with the appointed Swiss representative.

The Swiss paying agent is usually a Swiss bank that collects information on the fund; it is not necessary to open an account with the bank, according to a Swiss representative.

The marketing and sale of non-Swiss funds to Swiss investors is governed ......................

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