Portfolio managers and trustees who wish to make changes to a granted licence must inform the supervisory organisation (SO) in advance. Depending on the nature of the intended change, approval from FINMA may be required. 

Licensed portfolio managers and trustees must report any change in circumstances that affects their FINMA licence. There are different types of changes.

Significant change

If an institution intends to make a significant change, prior approval from FINMA is required. Significant changes include:

  • Changes to organisational or partnership documents;

  • Changes of supervisory organisation;

  • Changes in the persons responsible for management and business operations;

  • New owners of a qualified participation; 

  • Changes to the person responsible for risk management / internal control / compliance or their deputy

  • Changes relating to the delegation of material tasks (insourcing and outsourcing);

  • Various changes relating to foreign subsidiaries and qualified participations and activities abroad.

The relevant form on the EHP survey and application platform contains additional explanations. The process for making changes to licences is essentially the same as that for licensing. First, a licence change request must be sent to the SO and a response obtained. The response from the SO should then be submitted to FINMA via the EHP together with the licence change request. Any queries regarding the change request are made via the SO. 

Non-significant change

If the changes are not significant, they should be reported immediately to the supervisory organisation, which periodically forwards the information to FINMA. Approval from FINMA is not required. Non-significant changes include, for example: 

  • Departure of an owner of a qualified participation

  • Mandating / change of audit firm or ombudsman’s office

  • Establishment / acquisition / discontinuation of Swiss subsidiaries and qualified participations in companies in Switzerland

  • Falling below the minimum requirements with regard to minimum capital and / or capital adequacy (shortfall, negative net worth, capital losses, over-indebtedness) and associated termination / changes to professional indemnity insurance

  • Changes of address for the institution

  • Facts which might call into question the good reputation or the guaranteeing of proper business conduct, in particular the instigation of criminal proceedings, as well as facts which might call into question the prudent and sound business conduct of the financial institution due to influence exerted by owners of a qualified participation (facts concerning the financial institution).

  • Facts which might call into question the good reputation or the guaranteeing of proper business conduct by the persons responsible for the management and the business operations, and of owners of qualified participations, e.g. the instigation of criminal proceedings against them (facts concerning persons responsible for proper business conduct).