“This is not another AIFMD regulation. It is much simpler, much cheaper and fairly easy to implement,” states Roman Pelka, founder of Montfort Funds, a specialist provider of Swiss fund representation services, when discussing the need to appoint a legal representative.
“The transition period provided to foreign funds to get compliant will end on the 1st of March. Thereafter there will be no way around it, except reverse solicitation but this is not really a viable option for most.”
The role of the representative is first to review the fund to ensure it is fit for distribution to qualified investors and second to supervise the fund’s distributor to ensure it complies with the new Swiss requirements.
“This is critical” Pelka says. “We need to be confident that our clients have the appropriate procedures and controls in place to do things properly.”
A fund marketed to qualified investors in Switzerland is not required to register with FINMA. There are no reporting requirements to FINMA and managers can continue to operate their own marketing teams just as they did previously, as long as they are authorised to carry out distribution activities
in their home market.