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Introducing Limited Qualified Investor Funds

28 February 2024 | Legal Alerts
In December 2021, the Swiss parliament approved the introduction of an innovative fund category known as the Limited Qualified Investor Fund (L-QIF) and adjusted the Collective Investment Schemes Act (CISA) accordingly. These changes will be implemented by the Federal Council on March 1, 2024. L-QIFs are collective investment schemes exempt from FINMA authorization or supervision. To be entitled, these funds must exclusively target qualified investors and be managed by entities supervised by FINMA.

Entities in charge of adhering to the regulations governing L-QIFs

The organizations overseeing L-QIFs bear the responsibility of ensuring compliance with the corresponding rules. To uphold transparency, the fund must be explicitly identified as a Limited Qualified Investor Fund or L-QIF on the front page of fund documents and in promotional material. Investors must also be informed of the fund's exemption from FINMA's authorization, approval, and supervision. The Federal Department of Finance (FDF) will maintain a publicly accessible registry of all L-QIFs. FINMA does not assume responsibility for interpreting L-QIF matters or establishing L-QIF-specific regulations.

Additional revisions to collective investment schemes legislation

The amendments to the Collective Investment Schemes Act (CISA) and Collective Investment Schemes Ordinance (CISO) encompass various aspects aimed at aligning with international standards, staying abreast of market dynamics, and bolstering legal clarity.

Of particular note, the updated legislation establishes a framework for domestic exchange-traded funds (ETFs), accompanied by new disclosure obligations. Moreover, in adherence to global norms, it fortifies the resilience of collective investment schemes through the introduction of supplementary liquidity regulations. These measures are crafted to ensure that the liquidity profile of a collective investment scheme aligns with its asset category, investment strategy, risk mitigation approach, investor profile, and redemption frequency. Additionally, further liquidity mandates pertinent to the management of collective investment schemes will be included in the CISO.

The establishment of "side pockets" is being formalized through statutory measures. This entails isolating specific assets within an open-ended collective investment scheme that has transitioned into an illiquid state. Additionally, a provision outlines the necessary procedures and notification protocols in case of active breaches of a scheme's investment regulations.

Transitional measures for already authorized collective investment schemes

The updated regulations outlined in the CISA and CISO will come into effect on March 1, 2024, applying to newly established collective investment schemes from this date onward. Nevertheless, a two-year transition period will be implemented in specific areas for collective investment schemes that have already obtained authorization or approval. This includes aspects such as the new disclosure obligations concerning securities lending, repurchase transactions, and Swiss ETFs. Existing collective investment schemes must also adhere to the liquidity requirements within two years of the changes taking effect, while new collective investment schemes (including L-QIFs) will be required to comply with the regulations from their inception date.

1. https://www.finma.ch/en/news/2024/02/23240223
2. https://www.sif.admin.ch/sif/en/home/finanz
3. https://www.fedlex.admin.ch/eli/cc/2006/822/en
4. https://www.fedlex.admin.ch/eli/cc/2006/859/en


This legal alert provides a general overview of the topic and should not be considered legal advice. Legal situations may vary, and businesses should consult with legal professionals to address their specific concerns.
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