New Swiss Regulations Require Appointment of Local Agents and Increased Disclosure in Hedge Fund Documents

Switzerland has traditionally been an important jurisdiction for the distribution of alternative funds, especially hedge funds.  With the revision of the Federal Act on Collective Investment Schemes of 23 June 2006 (CISA), and its implementing ordinance of 22 November 2006 – the Collective Investment Schemes Ordinance (CISO) – as well as the self-regulatory standards (the Guidelines) issued by the Swiss Funds and Asset Management Association (SFAMA), the formerly liberal rules regarding distribution of hedge funds in Switzerland have been tightened, in particular regarding the level of transparency applicable to hedge fund distribution.  The CISA and the CISO entered into force on March 1, 2013, and the transitional period relating to their implementation recently ended on March 1, 2015.  For more on Switzerland, see “Swiss Hedge Fund Marketing Regulations, BEA Forms and Form ADV Updates: An Interview with Proskauer Partner Robert Leonard,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 8, No. 9 (Mar. 5, 2015).  In a guest article, Dr. Vaïk Müller and Olivier Stahler of Lenz & Staehelin first distinguish the requirements deriving from the CISA and the CISO, on the one hand, from those deriving from self-regulation, on the other hand.  The authors next review the impact of the new requirements on hedge fund documentation, taking into account the obligations applicable to the intermediaries concerned with the distribution before finally addressing the issue of the timing of the implementation of the SFAMA Guidelines.

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