Author Archives: Sandro Abegglen

New Swiss financial market regulation: Consequences on pension funds, investment foundations, their asset managers and advisors

The new Swiss financial market regulation will take effect in the second half of 2019 or in 2020. The new acts, namely the Financial Services Act and the Financial Institutions Act are particularly relevant to external asset managers of pension funds and investment foundations. The pension funds and investment foundations themselves will not be directly impacted, but will indirectly benefit from increased conduct and transparency rules and the fact that their external asset managers henceforth will be subject to supervision by FINMA or a FINMA-authorized supervisory organization.

By Sandro Abegglen / Evelyn Schilter (Reference: CapLaw-2018-04)

Liberalization of the Point of Sale– Amendments to the FIDLEG Bill’s Point of Sale Duties Proposed by the Council of States

After having been discussed throughout 2016 in various sessions of the Economic Affairs and Taxation Committee of the Swiss Federal Council of States (WAK-S), on 14 December 2016 the new Federal Financial Services Act (Finanzdienstleistungsgesetz; FIDLEG) was finally resolved on by the Federal Council of States (SR). Compared to the bill of the Federal Council (the Swiss government), the SR resolved on a number of amendments that will, in certain areas, substantially liberalize the proposed regulatory regime to be complied with at the point of sale. Starting this year, the bill is now before the other chamber of Swiss parliament, the Swiss National Council (NR), and it will be interesting to see to what degree the NR will follow the SR’s approach. The enactment of the bill is still anticipated at the earliest in 2018. The present article focuses on important amendments to the FIDLEG bill as suggested by the SR.

By Sandro Abegglen / Luca Bianchi / Edi Bollinger (Reference: CapLaw-2017-03)

Regulation of the Point of Sale – An Update on the Rules of Conduct of Financial Services Providers under the proposed FIDLEG

On 4 November 2015 the Swiss Federal Council has published the Message (Botschaft) on the Financial Services Act (Finanzdienstleistungsgesetz, FIDLEG). In the industry, it has been expected with great excitement and interest, as it will have a major impact, inter alia, on how financial services and products may be offered and sold to clients. Also, the FIDLEG, together with the new Financial Institutions Act (Finanzinstitutsgesetz, FINIG), will define how equivalent the relevant Swiss regulation will be when compared with, in particular, EU regulation. This article aims to provide a short overview on the core content of the FIDLEG, namely, the conduct duties to be complied with at the point of sale.

By Sandro Abegglen / Luca Bianchi (Reference: CapLaw-2016-3)

The Launch of the Real Estate Investment Foundation

While Swiss investment foundations have been used quite often for indirect real estate investments of Swiss pension plans in the past, recently, more market participants have been using the real estate investment foundation as an attractive real estate offering for their eligible clients. In addition to the general regulatory and civil law framework that applies to all Swiss investment foundations, some specific requirements must be observed for the launch of real estate investment foundations. This article aims to provide a brief overview on the applicable general and specific requirements.

By Sandro Abegglen / Luca Bianchi / Thomas Hochstrasser (Reference: CapLaw-2015-41)

Proposed CISA Revision to Bring Along Fundamental Change in Regulating Investment Funds Distribution

Against the background of new regulatory developments in the European Union, Parliament will shortly debate a partial revision of the Collective Investment Schemes Act. The proposed legislative amendments focus on subjecting Swiss domiciled asset managers of foreign collective investment schemes to Swiss licensing and supervision requirements and introducing a new concept with respect to the regulation of distribution activities in relation to collective investment schemes. If adopted, the proposed changes would have a profound impact on the legal framework governing the distribution of such investment instruments in Switzerland.