In March 2013 Swiss authorities tabled amendments governing the distribution of non-registered funds. The category of non-registered funds includes foreign-domiciled hedge funds, private equity, real estate, etc. Essentially the regulation, amongst other things, requires every non–registered fund distributed in Switzerland to appoint a representative who is responsible for ensuring the marketing of the fund is in compliance with the law. The potential target market of professional and experienced investors now referred to as Qualified Investors has also been defined, and it is now a requirement that distributors of the funds are regulated and the fund appoints a paying agent.
Compliance of a fund with the law is mandatory from 1st March 2015 if any offering activities are being conducted to certain categories of Swiss investors, including pension funds, HNWI and private wealth managers, whether they be existing investors or new prospects.
Funds authorized for sale in Switzerland, either Swiss-domiciled funds or UCITS funds approved for distribution, have always been required to appoint a Swiss Representative and Paying Agent, so the new rules ensure a certain consistency. It should be noted that non-registered funds may only be offered to Qualified Investors and therefore the overall regulatory requirements are much lighter for this category of funds.