During its meeting on 31 January 2024, the Federal Council resolved to put the revised Collective Schemes Act (CISA) and the amended Collective Investment Schemes Ordinance (CISO) into force with effect from 1 March 2024, thereby creating the legal basis for the Limited Qualified Investor Fund (L-QIF). While Switzerland is already an asset management and distribution hub, the introduction of the L-QIF aims at strengthening its position as a fund product center.
The L-QIF is a collective investment scheme which is not subject to the licensing and approval requirements of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), which is a substantial advantage in time-to-market and flexibility over existing fund categories. As a new fund category, L-QIFs are to be set up in one of the existing legal forms under CISA and must thus be structured as a contractual investment fund, a SICAV or a limited partnership for collective investments (KmGK).
L-QIFs are only available to qualified investors and must be managed by entities which themselves are supervised by FINMA. The institutions responsible for the management of L-QIFs are required to report specific data – including the set-up of a L-QIF – to the Federal Department of Finance, which will keep a publicly accessible register of all L-QIFs.
In addition to benefitting from a quicker set-up procedure, L-QIFs are subject to more liberal investment regulations than supervised collective investment schemes: the permitted investments and investment techniques, as well as the risk policy, must simply be disclosed in the fund documentation, and special risks must be taken into account by means of an appropriate operational organization.
From a tax perspective, L-QIFs are treated, like other Swiss regulated collective investment schemes.
Schellenberg Wittmer has actively participated in the consultation process and helped ensure that the interests of the Swiss fund industry were adequately considered.
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