It is now one year in to the Swiss Collective Investment Scheme Act (CISA) and overall impressions appear to be that it has been a success. One particular aspect of CISA, namely the requirement for alternative fund managers marketing their funds in Switzerland to “unregulated qualified investors” (eg pension funds, family offices) to appoint a Swiss Fund Representative and Paying Agent, has proven to be no more than a mild shower in a teacup.
A year ago, fund managers were aghast at the idea of having to incur yet more regulatory costs, but those fears have proven to be largely unfounded. Indeed, as Roman Pelka (pictured), CEO of Montfort Funds AG, a specialist provider of Swiss fund representation services, says, almost incredulously: “I think this has actually been a regulatory success. We are 12 months in and 2,000 to 3,000 alternative funds have signed up, including most of the major names. There has been a broad acceptance of the regulation. I think the Swiss regulator FINMA has succeeded in introducing a piece of regulation that is simple and works.”