Swiss lawmakers are considering proposals to tighten regulations on hedge funds and other asset managers that will align the Alpine nation with draft European union rules.
The amendment to an act on collective investments will be debated by both chambers of the parliament in the “summer and autumn sessions” and take effect in 2013, said Nadia Batzig, a spokeswoman for the Swiss Finance Ministry in Bern.
While the rules would allow Swiss-based investment managers to distribute their products in the EU, they will have to meet more stringent risk, compliance and auditing standards, making it “more cumbersome and expensive,” said Frederique Bensahel, a partner at the law firm FBT who advises hedge funds that have moved to Geneva. About 500 more Swiss asset managers would be regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority compared with the current total of 91, she said.
“It’s a huge change because all hedge-fund managers will have to be regulated and getting authorization is quite difficult,” said Bensahel. “Some might leave Switzerland or there may be a consolidation among hedge-fund managers.”