In the event of material changes in circumstances, the manager of collective assets must obtain prior authorisation from FINMA before resuming operations.
Since the FinIA entered into force on 1 January 2020, asset managers who manage assets on a commercial basis in the name and on behalf of occupational pension schemes must also be authorised by FINMA. They must therefore comply with the legal provisions set out in the section on authorisation requirements.
Even after the management of assets by the occupational pension scheme has been delegated to an asset manager authorised by FINMA, the occupational pension scheme must ensure that the legal requirements (e.g. OPA, OPO 1, OPO 2) are complied with. The cantonal and regional OPA supervisory authorities supervise compliance with these legal requirements by occupational pension schemes and other institutions whose purpose is to serve occupational pensions. This supervision lies beyond the jurisdiction of FINMA.
In addition to the general requirements for authorisation set out in Article 7 ff. FinIA, managers of collective assets must meet the following requirements (Arts. 24 ff. FinIA and 34 ff. FinIO) in order to obtain authorisation from FINMA:
it must have the legal form of a commercial enterprise;
it must have an organisation that is appropriate to its role;
it must have the required minimum capital and further collatoral;
the articles of association, partnership agreement or organisational rules must include a factually and geographically accurate description of its proposed operations;
it must manage at least one collective investment scheme or the assets of at least one occupational pension scheme.
Institutions that meet the following requirements are exceptionally deemed to be asset managers and not managers of collective assets.
Institutions that manage collective investment schemes whose investors are deemed to be qualified investors are deemed to be asset managers. Assets under management of such collective investment schemes may not exceed CHF 100m including leveraged assets or CHF 500m for non-leveraged assets where investors cannot exercise termination and redemption rights for a period of five years.
Also deemed asset managers are institutions that manage the assets of occupational pension schemes totalling no more than CHF 100m and manage no more than 20% of the assets of an individual occupational pension scheme.
Institutions that according to these specifications do not require authorisation as managers of collective assets (Art. 24 para. 2 FinIA) may request authorisation as managers of collective assets provided this is required by the state where the collective investment scheme is established or offered or where the occupational pension scheme is managed (Art. 24 para. 3 FinIA).
Managers of collective assets are responsible for the portfolio and risk management of the assets entrusted to them and may also perform administrative tasks in accordance with Art. 26 FinIA.
Managers of collective assets must notify FINMA of any changes in the facts on which the authorisation is based. If the changes are of material significance, prior authorisation must be obtained from FINMA in order to resume operations (Art. 8 FinIA in conjunction with Art. 10 FinIO). Prior authorisation must also be obtained for changes to business activities such as when taking on the management of limited qualified investor funds (L-QIF).
Any intention to cease operations as manager of collective assets requires prior approval from FINMA (Art. 8 FinIA). The regulatory auditor will also be asked to give its opinion of the intended action.
When applying for authorisation, application templates are available on the EHP survey and application platform and the following documents can be used.
Applicants must self-register via the FINMA homepage to gain access to the EHP. Following self-registration and the review by FINMA, they will be able to access the EHP through the FINMA portal via two-factor identification.
The following unfolded application template serves as a guide and cannot be used as an application.