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SFA president Martin Thommen

Swiss Funds Association welcomes approval of AIFM Directive

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The Swiss Funds Association has welcomed the European Parliament’s decision to pass the EU Directive on Alternative Investment Fund Managers.



The SFA says that compared with the draft presented in April 2009, the directive in its present form contains two significant improvements from the Swiss perspective.

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.

In addition, 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.

Switzerland will also have to meet certain conditions, such as 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,” says 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,” adds SFA chief executive Matthäus Den Otter.

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