Fund Management Companies
What is a fund management company and how were they previously regulated?
Fund management companies were previously regulated in the Collective Investment Schemes Act (CISA) and required a FINMA authorization (art. 13 para. 2 CISA) to commence their activities. The main purpose of a fund management company was to conduct the fund business (art. 20 para. 1 CISA); it managed investment funds for the account of the investors independently and in its own name (art. 30 CISA).
How are fund management companies being regulated under FinIA?
Even under FinIA, fund management companies require FINMA approval and the previous requirements under CISA regarding organisation, minimum capital, own funds, rights of the fund management company, their replacement and the segregation of the fund assets in the event of the fund management company’s bankruptcy are essentially transferred unchanged to FinIA.
Is the CISA still applicable to fund management companies under FinSA&FinIA?
Since asset managers of collective investment schemes are also regulated in FinIA, the scope of regulation of the CISA will be limited to products of collective investment schemes since FinSA&FinIA came into force (Dispatch of the Federal Council on FinSA and FinIA, p. 113). However, certain rules of conduct remained in the CISA even after their entry into force. In particular, the information duty in art. 20 para. 1 let. c CISA must be complied with by fund management companies that manage, hold or represent collective investment schemes even after the FinSA and the information duties contained therein have come into force (Dispatch of the Federal Council on FinSA and FinIA, p. 105).
Does an authorization as a fund management company in accordance with FinIA also authorize the company to act as a manager of collective assets and as an asset manager?
Yes, in accordance with the authorization cascade, an authorization as a fund management company also authorizes you to act as a manager of collective assets and as an asset manager (art. 6 para. 3 FinIA). However, as before and as an exception to the authorization cascade, holders of a bank or securities firm authorization may not take up any activity as fund management companys, as the main purpose of a fund management company must by definition be the fund business (art. 6 para. 1 f. FinIA).