Current developments on the introduction of a new type of investment fund
The Swiss legislator is currently working on the introduction of a new type of investment fund: limited qualified investor fund (L-QIF). The fund will not need to be approved by the regulator (FINMA) and is not subject to direct prudential supervision, making setting up an L-QIF faster and cheaper than setting up currently available Swiss fund structures. It will be available only to qualified investors and can only be managed by a regulated asset manager or a fund management company. The L-QIF is expected to be available from the beginning of 2022.
The idea of the new fund structure was very well received by all sides in Switzerland. The goal of introducing L-QIF is to increase Switzerland’s innovation ability and competitiveness as a fund location. In particular, on the investor side, pension funds and insurance companies have expressed their interest in the new structure.
L-QIF will offer qualified investors a Swiss alternative to similar foreign fund structures, and is most comparable to Luxembourg’s RAIF.
A lot of financial market participants are awaiting the launch of the L-QIF. Some financial institutions and investors are even evaluating whether to repatriate their offshore funds back to Switzerland, while others plan to launch new L-QIFs instead of offshore funds and/or Luxembourg RAIFs in the future.
L-QIF will be open exclusively to qualified investors. The launch of the new fund structure will not include the introduction of a new legal structure. Instead, it will be possible to launch an L-QIF in the form of an existing Swiss fund structure, namely a contractual fund, an investment company with variable capital (SICAV) or a limited partnership for collective investment (LPCI or KmGK).
The current bill does not contain any restrictions on possible investments or on risk diversification, thus offering financial market participants maximum freedom in this regard.
Only financial institutions supervised by FINMA can manage an L-QIF.
PwC Switzerland offers advice in fund structuring from the legal, regulatory and tax perspective. We are happy to discuss the best fund structuring options for you.