Open a SICAV in Switzerland
Updated on Monday 18th September 2017
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The investment company with variable capital (SICAV) was introduced in the national legislation of Switzerland in January 2007. This type of investment company was established under the regulations of the Swiss Federal Act on Collective Investment Schemes. The legal procedures on how to start an investment fund in Switzerland as a SICAV stipulates that the legal entity must obtain an authorization for investment operations on the local market from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA).
The purpose of a SICAV in Switzerland
A SICAV in Switzerland should meet a set of criteria for perfoming investments in this country. The main elements of the legal entity are the following:
• the company may be registered with an unspecified number of shares;
• the company’s capital is comprised of shares with no nominal value and investor shares with no nominal value;
• the company may have as business purpose the collective capital investment.
The procedure on how to start a fund in Switzerland performing investment activities as a SICAV requires the investors to appoint a board of directors with minimum three members. Following the provisions stipulated by FINMA for this type of business form, the SICAV should be managed by a management company.
Registering a SICAV in Switzerland
The Swiss investment legislation provides a wide range of types of vehicles that can be set up by foreign investors, including the hedge fund startup or the retail fund, each following different incorporation regulations. In the case of a SICAV, it is necessary to obtain an approval on the company’s statutory documents (represented by the articles of association and investment regulations) from FINMA.
The approval will also be necessary in the situation in which the investors want to set up sub-funds within the SICAV, which will allow multiple investment strategies carried out at the same time.
The SICAV in Switzerland can be set up as an open-ended structure, a regulation which is also available for the fund registered on a contractual basis (FCP). However, the latter does not have a legal personality. At the same time, businessmen may register closed-ended funds, which in Switzerland can be set up as SICAFs.
Our partners can provide further information on the types of investors that are eligible for the Swiss SICAF and businessmen are invited to contact our team of affiliates in Switzerland for assistance in this matter.