Representatives of foreign collective investment schemes

Representatives of foreign collective investment schemes represent these schemes vis-à-vis investors and FINMA and must be authorised to do so. They are subject to special reporting requirements.

Anyone representing foreign collective investment schemes vis-à-vis investors and FINMA is deemed to be a representative of foreign collective investment schemes. Their power of representation may not be limited.

Authorisation requirements

Representatives of foreign collective investment schemes require authorisation from FINMA. In addition to the conditions set out in Article 14 CISA, representatives must meet the following requirements:

  • minimum capital and collateral (Art. 131 CISO)

  • professional indemnity insurance (Art. 132 CISO).

Fund management companies under CISA are exempt from the authorisation requirements for representatives of foreign collective investment schemes (Art. 13 para. 3 CISA, Art. 8 para. 2 CISO).

Role of a representative

The role of a representative is to represent a foreign collective investment scheme vis-à-vis investors and FINMA. Representatives must comply with statutory reporting, publication and information requirements and the conduct rules which have been defined by sector organisations and recognised by FINMA as minimum standards.

Changes in circumstances

If there is any alteration to the basis on which authorisation was originally granted, permission must be obtained from FINMA before operations can be resumed (Art. 16 CISA, Arts. 14 and 15 CISO). The relevant application must be submitted to FINMA in an official language of the Swiss Confederation and must contain a detailed description of the requested changes. It must be accompanied by all the documents and information required for assessing the request. The same applies when a representative of foreign collective investment schemes distributed to non-qualified investors changes.

Reporting requirements

Representatives must comply with the statutory reporting requirements set out in Article 15 para. 4 CISO in relation to foreign collective investment schemes which are not distributed exclusively to qualified investors. FINMA must be notified immediately of all such events (Art. 15 para. 5 CISO).

These include any changes to the documents of foreign collective investment schemes as defined in Article 13a CISO (Art. 15 para. 4 let. b. and Art. 133 para. 3 2. sub-paragraph CISO ) and any action taken by foreign supervisory authorities against the collective investment scheme, specifically revocation of its licence (Art. 15 para. 4 let. a. CISO).

The aim of the reporting requirements is to ensure that Swiss investors are properly informed and enjoy protection equivalent to that of investors in Swiss collective investment schemes.

Information and templates

The following documents are available to help representatives apply for new licences or report changes to their organisation: