Switzerland's centuries-old customs of integrity in finance, as well as unparalleled political and economic reliability, have long solidified its status as an esteemed global financial centre. Its strategic location amid the European continent paired with sophisticated legal framework and inviting tax regimen allure investors internationally. Registering collective investment schemes in Switzerland opens access to one of the most stable and secure financial marketplaces along with worldwide asset and investment potential.

In this brief, we furnish an outline of enacting investment funds in Switzerland, comprising merits within this jurisdiction, an analysis of pertinent investment climate and legislation as well as key incorporation and authorisation stages concerning various funds. Additionally, we elucidate key tax and limited liability factors to provide readers with discernment into all principal aspects of instituting and administering investment funds in this jurisdiction.

Evaluation of the investment climate in Switzerland

Owing to political neutrality, sound economy and strict although reasonable statutory supervision, Switzerland constitutes an optimal location to float investment funds.

Switzerland's economic steadiness plays a major role in pooling capital and engendering a beneficial environment for investiture. Soaring economic GDP per capita betokens thriving economy and delivers high living standards to denizens. Low inflation and national debt rates testify to the country's financial vigour, which galvanises trust in the Swiss finance industry.

Switzerland's financial segment constitutes an integral element of the national economy. Thanks to rich background and utmost competence, Swiss banking institutions along with insurance enterprises and asset managers hold significant positions in global finance. The banking sector provides supreme confidentiality and reliability, designating Switzerland a paramount hub for wealth management and asset administration within investment vehicles.

Moreover, the Swiss financial industry enjoys a reputation for innovation and adapting to fluctuating market tendencies. Wealth management firms furnish wide spectra of products and services encompassing traditional and alternative investment tactics, therefore attracting assorted investor base internationally. Furthermore, transparency and stringency energise credibility and conviction for customers and investors.

Due to particular reasons, Switzerland excels among other European jurisdictions as a leader in asset management, drawing fund managers and investors.

Firstly, Switzerland possesses global financial centre status owing to rich historical background and proficiency entrenched in this domain. This facilitates accumulating both vast private capital and institutional funding.

Secondly, Swiss asset management entities supply broad selections of investment instruments and approaches including traditional and alternative allocation methods, providing investors with facilities to elect optimal solutions per their preferences and accepted risk bands.

Thirdly, the exceptional qualification and competence of Swiss finance executives is renowned owing to their propensity for profound market examination, stringent legal conformity and innovative vision toward asset administration.

The presence of a robust and transparent regulatory environment in Switzerland also stimulates optimum conditions for asset management, providing long-term security and consistency of investments.

Asset allocation in the Swiss funds market

Presently, the structure of asset allocation in Swiss investment funds subsists as follows:

  • Equities and other securities form 41.8% of total assets, endowing investors with exposure to extensive industrial and market sections.
  • Bond funds in Switzerland comprise 31.4% allotment targeting investiture in miscellaneous debt securities namely government, corporate and municipal which supply investors with stable returns under lower risk threshold.
  • Multi-asset funds occupy 11.1% share. These funds incorporate combinations of multiple asset varieties including equities, bonds, real estate etc. serving the objective of portfolio diversification and risk mitigation.
  • Money markets retain a 9% fraction. These short-term investment vehicles with low-risk and high liquidity enable investors to sustain capital whilst temporarily depositing funds.
  • Lastly, property investments constitute 3.2% placement focused toward commercial and residential real estate allocation, providing investors with robust recurring income flows and prospective long-term capital appreciation.

This multifaceted blend of assets in Swiss funds portfolios allows investors to construct optimal investment baskets reflecting their financial aspirations, harmonised with desired risk appetites.

Administering collective investment schemes in Switzerland: policy and regulators

Monitoring of collective investment vehicles in Switzerland rests upon unambiguous, transparent and foreseeable stipulations aimed at warranting reliable security of capital investors whilst upholding the stability of the national financial architecture. Core to this regulatory backdrop are SFAMA and Federal Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) coupled with critical legislative acts.

The competencies of FINMA

FINMA functions as an independent government body commissioned with supervise the Swiss financial services sector. Key responsibilities encompass issuing permits and executing oversight regarding banks, insurance firms, trading avenues, investment managers, pivotal financial brokers and collective investment schemes. The prime objective of FINMA is ascertaining compliance of Swiss financial institutions with active laws, best practices and international standards, hence safeguarding the interests of depositors and fortifying the financial sector.

The competencies of SFAMA

SFAMA serves as the prime professional consortium for asset administration and collective investment vehicles in Switzerland. This Association constitutes an efficient platform for collaborative knowledge sharing and optimised practices, alongside advocating for member interests before regulators, political establishments and the public. SFAMA proactively participates in developing industry guidelines and regulations to elevate transparency, efficiency, and reliability of asset management realms.

Fundamental statutes influencing Swiss funds’ operations



FinSA Act

FinIA Act


Regulates collective investment vehicles operations in Switzerland

Establishes provisions for rendering financial services and distributing financial instruments

Establishes legal foundations for financial institutions and their operations

Key provisions

Categorizes collective investment formats.

Sets standards for administration, income distribution, and marketing principles.

Institutes protective measures for investors.

Introduces information requirements and behavioural benchmarks for financial service providers.

Delineates transparency criteria.

Imposes obligations around regulations, organisational norms, and codes of conduct.

Ensures stability of financial institutions and client interests.

Scope of regulation

Collective investment schemes’ operations, licensing, and supervision processes.

Financial services provision, distribution of financial instruments.

Operations of financial institutions, including asset managers and custodians.

Compliance requirements

Compliance with standards for administration, income distribution, and marketing principles.

Adherence to information requirements, behavioural benchmarks, and transparency criteria.

Adherence to regulations, organisational norms, and codes of conduct.

Supervisory processes

Licensing and supervision of collective investment schemes’ managers.

Oversight of financial service providers’ conduct and adherence to regulations.

Ensuring stability of financial institutions and protection of client interests.

Impact on financial industry

Sets standards and frameworks for operation of collective investment vehicles.

Empowers consumer protection through information requirements and transparency criteria.

Ensures stability and integrity of financial institutions and fosters trust in the financial system.

Consumer protection measures

Institutes protective measures for investors.

Empowers consumers through information requirements and transparency criteria.

Safeguards client interests through regulations and codes of conduct.

These legislative instruments collectively with regulatory authorities institute strict nonetheless reasonable governing ambience, fuelling sustainable development of Switzerland’s investment funds market. They guarantee a supreme level of investor protection whilst supporting Switzerland’s esteemed status as one of the safest and most alluring global financial hubs.

Instituting collective investment schemes in Switzerland

Enacting collective investment vehicles in Switzerland signifies an attractive preference for investors pursuing safety of placements whilst joining an esteemed financial society. This section scrutinises vital merits of Swiss funds, including sturdy investment protection, political and economic constancy alongside prestige affiliated with this jurisdiction.

Supreme investment protection

Switzerland’s eminence stems from formidable financial heritage and reliability. National legal order furnishes effective preservation of investor interests through transparent statutes and proficient enforcement mechanisms.

Monitoring entities administer stringent supervision over collective investment vehicles’ operations, thereby sheltering against fraudulent activities and illicit transactions.

Political and economic stability

The nation is distinguished by political constancy and neutrality, engendering optimal investment settings. Capital investors can rely on the fact that principal political hazards and risks shall not impinge their interests.

Additionally, the sturdiness and reliability inherent to the Swiss economy nourish investors’ expectations concerning long-term progression of their investitures.

Eminent status of Swiss jurisdiction

Registering a collective investment scheme in Switzerland awards it with a credible reputation. This country is treasured for quality benchmarks and commitment toward openness and honesty within financial realms.

Owing to pioneering financial solutions and ingenious asset administration tactics, Switzerland magnetises numerous international investors and asset managers, hence cementing its rank as a coveted investment destination.

Do you have any questions?
We recommend contacting our specialists for more detailed information. To schedule a consultation, click the button below.

Types of collective investment schemes in Switzerland

Switzerland boasts multifaceted investment funds selections classified per assorted criteria namely structure (open-ended or closed-end), investor category (qualified or unqualified) and investment objectives alongside asset characteristics. This spectrum furnishes investors with adaptability to administer funds by opting for alternatives aligning individual tactics and preferences.

Open-ended and closed-end funds

Swiss open-ended schemes provide investors with the facility to acquire and divest fund units at any instance at current market value, thereby ensuring high liquidity and versatility. Such vehicles are frequently handled by professional managers pursuing profit maximisation through various investment strategies.

In contrast, closed-end funds in Switzerland function with predefined capital volume and initial batch of units offered to investors during the fund creation stage. Subsequent trading of shares transpires on secondary markets, whilst no issuance of new units takes place and managers carry no liabilities for redemptions. Frequently, such funds target long-term investment into specific assets, namely real estate or private equity.

Classification by investor type

Qualified investors encompass banking institutions, large corporations, governmental agencies and individuals demonstrating significant capital and investment expertise. Solutions designated for this category commonly imply higher risk-return ratios.

Unqualified investors constitute average citizens and small-scale market participants for whom conception of safer and more accessible financial goods arises.

Specifics of different fund types

A mutual fund (FCP) represents an open-ended vehicle handled by a bank or licensed management entity. FCP shareholders are entitled to proportional equity rights pertaining to collective net assets.

Variable capital investment company (SICAV) operates as an open-end collective investment scheme constituted under a joint-stock enterprise with fluctuating capital. SICAV provides investors with options to join and exit the vehicle, whilst total capital volume varies based on the overall number of units issued and redeemed. Threshold capital currently subsists at CHF 5 million.

Fixed capital investment corporation (SICAF) embodies a closed-end investment fund format with predefined unalterable share capital organised as a joint-stock undertaking. SICAF stock owners can negotiate shares in secondary markets, however, the fund itself abstains from participating in said transactions.

A limited partnership (LP) for collective investments constitutes an organisational configuration intended for private equity, real estate and other non-standard assets. This partnership incorporates at least one unlimited liability general partner and limited partners whose risks are confined to their investment contributions.

Retail spheres of variable capital investment companies (SICAVs) and mutual funds in Switzerland

Retail segments within SICAV collective investment schemes and mutual funds may encompass assorted vehicles, namely:

  • Securities-oriented funds (akin to UCITS across the EU) allow acquisition of equities and debt instruments.
  • Vehicles specialising in commercial and residential property allocation.
  • Conventional investment pools covering extensive traditional asset spectra.
  • Alternative investment vehicles focusing on hedging, private equity, commodities, and other specific niches.

Multifaceted solutions in Switzerland provide investors with distinct opportunities to diversify portfolios and contour investment methodologies reflecting personal financial objectives and preferred risk appetites.

Regulatory prerequisites for constructing investment funds in Switzerland

Switzerland’s vast investment landscape empowers investors to thoroughly diversify portfolios and tailor approaches, factoring in financial ambitions and acceptable risk thresholds.

General FINMA registration requirements:

  • Legal configuration and structure: investment fund must abide by one of the eligible legal formats (e.g. SICAV, SICAF, LP) with a clearly outlined administration model.
  • Management company: open-ended vehicles mandate the appointment of FINMA-licensed manager to administer assets within collective investment schemes, responsible for investment strategy, operations and regulatory compliance.
  • Custodian: fund appoints FINMA-authorised custodian accountable for safekeeping of assets and executing monitoring functions, thereby fortifying investor protection.
  • Investment policy: clear investment objectives, strategies, and limits ought to be instituted commensurate with the fund’s remit including target markets, asset classes and risk calibration.

Investor protection entails cascading mechanisms shielding rights and interests, e.g. mandatory disclosures, reporting and auditing. Funds must periodically publish performance, financial position and investment returns. Quarterly and annual reports are warranted toward FINMA alongside investors. Furthermore, independent auditing ensures conformity with financial reporting standards and regulations.

Registration pathway of an investment fund in Switzerland

The establishment of a collective investment scheme in Switzerland necessitates meticulous preparation and adhering to rigorous standards. Contingent on the fund’s configuration, the procedure encompasses developing and filing a suite of documentation to attain official permissions.

Stage 1. Opting for fund format

The initial stride involves selecting an apt investment structure namely open-ended (e.g. SICAV, FCP) or closed-ended (e.g. SICAF, LP) based on investment tactics, target investor categories and requisite liquidity prerequisites.

Stage 2. Documentation

For FINMA registration, the following materials ought to be furnished:

  • Governing papers (charter, partnership accord, founding documents) outlining operational structure and regulations.
  • Investment policy summarising tactics and restrictions.
  • Prospectus alongside key investor information constituting exhaustive intelligence on objectives, potential risks, expenditures and historical performance.
  • Confirmations of AML/CTF compliances.
  • Proof of appointments of qualified asset manager, auditor, and custodian licensed by FINMA.

This documentation suite equips FINMA with integral information to evaluate conformity with pertinent rules and regulations – a keystone for official registration.

Stage 3. FINMA application submission

Upon preparation finalisation, a registration request is filed to FINMA encompassing above items and verification of settlement of mandatory state dues.

Stage 4. Application review

FINMA performs meticulous examination of furnished documentation to confirm alignment with prevailing Swiss legislation. Within this process, additions or adjustments may be solicited to enhance structure or supplied materials.

Stage 5. Licensing

Upon completing analysis and asserting compliance with all imperatives, FINMA issues an operational licence. Consequently, the fund attains credentials to commence functioning, pooling investments and executing investment activities per sanctioned policies.

Newly instituted vehicles fall under continuous FINMA monitoring, including compulsory financial reporting and auditing. Funds must adhere to risk calibration, transparency, and investor interest protection stipulations.

Registration timeframes may vary owing to complexity extent, document quality and FINMA processing velocity – overall between several months to one year.

Successful registration and administration mandates comprehensive comprehension of local regimes. Hence, specialised legal and advisory support is frequently sought to navigate intricate financial regulation and investment management aspects.

Investment fund management

In Switzerland, collective investment vehicles management is subject to rigorous supervision aimed at championing fairness, protecting investor rights and bolstering economic sustainability. Regulations govern qualifications and responsibilities binding both asset managers alongside custodians.

Requirements for managers and custodians

Asset managers necessitate FINMA accreditation for functioning and must satisfy statutory prerequisites including competence, expertise, and governance architecture. Their role demands pursuing shareholders’ best interests, ensuring transparency and equitable stewardship.

Custodians assume safekeeping of assets whilst verifying the legality of transactions. In Switzerland, solely FINMA-licensed banks can discharge this capacity.

Custodian’s remit and accountabilities

Principal objectives entail guaranteeing safety and prioritising investor interests through:

  • Safekeeping – securing investment securities and other possessions
  • Validation and control – ratifying legitimacy of transactions whilst asserting conformity to organisational regulations
  • Asset accounting – upholding precise and updated registers
  • Net Asset Value (NAV) calculation – assisting in determining portfolio fair value to accurately price units

Protecting rights and interests of investors

Pivotal facets within Swiss investment funds monitoring include preserving investor rights via:

  • Disclosure – furnishing exhaustive intelligence on performance, risks, fees and historical outputs
  • Investment policy compliance – managerial liability for stringent adherence to sanctioned policies, limiting risks and averting conflicts of interest
  • Regular supervision – continuous FINMA oversight asserting compliance and safeguarding investor rights

Thus, Swiss investment stewards must demonstrate utmost professionalism alongside legal conformity that guarantees safety of placements and fortifies Switzerland’s stature as a foremost financial hub.

Taxation policy concerning investment funds in Switzerland

Swiss tax regulations governing investment funds boast transparency alongside conferring extensive fiscal advantages upon investors, thereby catalysing the nation’s appeal as a hub for instituting and administering said vehicles. Tax methodology sustains constructive ambience for assorted fund types by influencing preference-shaping around structures.

Tax handling of various fund categories

Open-ended vehicles

As per prevailing tax legislation, open-ended collective investments are fiscally transparent and exempt from income and capital levies. However, liability around remitting taxes on generated incomes including dividends and interest is transferred to unit holders, who discharge them subject to respective tax codes.

Closed-ended schemes

Taxation requirements for closed structures may vary contingent on configuration and asset mix. For instance, SICAF subjects to income and capital taxes as a legal entity, although real estate investment allows special incentives.

Fiscal advantages for investors

Participating investors can harness multiple tax merits, namely:

  • Waiving withholding tax on fund distributions benefiting international investors.
  • Curbing overseas investment tax burden courtesy of bilateral treaties between Switzerland and other jurisdictions.
  • Tax transparency intrinsic to open-ended funds, enhancing planning.

Tax considerations in determining appropriate fund construct

Defining investment vehicles is closely tied to Swiss tax legislation. Open-ended mutual funds offer appeal owing to tax transparency and fund-level exemptions suiting assorted investors. However, specific closed vehicles like real estate funds could proffer preferential treatment, deeming them advantageous for particular assets.

Detailed analysis, weighing Swiss regulations against investor jurisdiction, is imperative for tax planning and electing the optimum structure.

TK DEAL furnishes comprehensive support in instituting investment funds in Switzerland. Leveraging extensive expertise and experience, TK DEAL ensures absolute compliance alongside providing expert counsel, documentation, liaising with authorities to minimize risks and expedite registration lead times, thereby constituting a reliable basis for investment activities.