A new regime governing the distribution of non-Swiss funds to Swiss investors comes fully into force on 1 March 2015, when the current transitional period expires.

The new regime segments Swiss investors into three categories: (1) unregulated qualified investors (pension plans, corporates, family offices, family trusts and high-net-worth individuals); (2) regulated qualified investors (a more restricted list of Swiss-regulated financial entities, such as banks, securities dealers, fund managers and insurance companies); and (3) non-qualified investors (effectively retail).

Investment managers who expect to be distributing their funds to unregulated qualified investors in Switzerland on or after 1 March 2015 must comply with the new requirements by that date. These include, amongst other things, requirements for the fund to appoint a Swiss-licensed representative and a Swiss bank as a paying agent and for the fund’s investment manager to enter into a distribution agreement with the appointed Swiss representative.

Investment managers should consider whether they want the ability to distribute their funds to unregulated qualified investors and, if so, take steps to comply with the new requirements as soon as possible. Complying with the new regime is not a particularly onerous exercise.

Click here for the top 10 things you should know about the new Swiss rules on distribution of funds.