A limited partnership for collective investment (LP) is a company whose sole object is collective investment. At least one member (the general partner) bears unlimited liability, while the other members (limited partners) are liable only up to a specified amount (the total limited partner’s contribution) (Art. 98 para. 1 CISA). Unless the CISA provides otherwise, the provisions of the Swiss Code of Obligations apply in relation to limited partnerships.
An LP must be authorised as an institution by FINMA before it can begin operations. The constituting document (partnership agreement) also requires approval. The general licensing and approval requirements set out in CISA apply, but there are other specific requirements which must be met. The most important of these are:
Since the institution and the product are inextricably linked, the partnership agreement must contain provisions for both. It must be drawn up in writing (Art. 102 para. 2 CISA) and at least contain provisions relating to the points set out in Article 102 para. 1 CISA (company name and its registered office; its purpose; the company name and registered office of the general partners; total limited partner's contributions; the duration; the entry and exit conditions for limited partners; the maintenance of a register of limited partners; the investments, investment policy, investment restrictions, risk diversification, risks associated with investment, investment techniques, delegation of management and representative duties , and involvement of a depository and a paying agent).
As stipulated in Art. 49 para. 1 FinSA, the partnership agreement must be supplemented by a prospectus, which does not have to be approved by FINMA but must be submitted to FINMA immediately. The prospectus specifically sets out the information contained in the partnership agreement regarding the investments, investment policy, investment restrictions, risk diversification, risks associated with investment, and investment techniques. The partnership agreement and prospectus must be submitted along with the application.
Advance approval must be obtained from FINMA for all product and licence-related changes to the basis on which authorisation was originally granted (Art. 16 CISA and Art. 14 f. CISO), with the exception of a change to the amount of the total limited partner’s contribution (Art. 14 para. 2 let. b. CISO) or to the limited partners (Art. 15 para. 1 let. c CISO). An application to this effect must be submitted to FINMA.
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.