Swiss sign AIFM agreement

The Swiss have forged a path for local GPs to meet AIFM rules that other non-EU countries may soon follow.

Swiss-based private equity funds will now be permitted to apply for the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFM) marketing passport after signing a co-operation agreement with EU regulators.

Swiss fund managers will also be eligible for the passport, which creates a seamless marketing regime across the 27 EU-member states, if they comply with the directive.

This would have been impossible before the agreement as the directive states non-EU countries with a securities regulator who has not signed such an agreement by July 2013 would not be permitted to market or manage private equity funds in the EU.

The agreement, achieved through a common Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), may serve as a blueprint for other non-EU regulators to follow, including the United States, according to a client memo from law firm Proskauer.

It is expected that the agreement will establish a framework for co-operation between supervisory authorities, according to Anne Héritier Lachat, chair of Swiss regulator FINMA, in a statement.

This collaboration will include the exchange of information between regulatory bodies as well as assistance in the enforcement of securities laws, such as the AIFM. It becomes applicable from 21 July 2013.

“ESMA sees this agreement as a signal of third countries’ willingness to cooperate to meet AIFMD’s requirements, however further work needs to be done with non-EU authorities to achieve our goal of completing all MoUs by the July 2013 deadline,” said Steven Maijoor, ESMA chair, in a statement.