The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published on 19 July 2016 its final advice to the European Commission (the Commission) on the extension of the marketing passport under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) to 12 non-EEA countries, including the United States. This note is intended to highlight ESMA’s advice to the Commission and set out the steps firms would need to consider when applying for a third country passport.
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Switzerland has always been an attractive and relatively easily accessible market for the distribution of foreign funds. As at end-November 2014, the total volume of funds registered for sale to retail investors (including institutional share classes) amounted to more than CHF 850 billion. This is not the total market picture, however, as according to the Swiss National Bank, at the end of 2014 another approximately CHF 800 billion have been privately placed into securities accounts of Swiss and foreign private HNWI'’s and institutional clients held with banks in Switzerland.
The rules governing the asset management of Swiss pension funds, including the use of derivative instruments, are set out in the Federal Act on Occupational Benefit Plans and the Federal Ordinance on Occupational Benefit Plans. Further, the Federal Social Insurance Office, as the federal supervisory authority of pension funds, published professional recommendations for the use of derivative financial instruments (October 15 1996).
Over the last years, private family funds have developed significantly. Whereas offshore or Luxembourg funds may be considered as natural first choices, Swiss collective investment schemes offer specific opportunities. Families must ensure that they are in a position to meet the requirements of the Swiss regulatory framework and should analyse possible tax benefits.