Friday, 29 August 2014
Last updated 6 hours ago
Apr 17 2012 | 1:48pm ET
British hedge fund managers who have fled to Switzerland are in for a rude surprise.
The country that practically invented the terms "off-shore" and "light-touch" is preparing to have a much heavier hand when it comes to its alternative investment funds. If formerly U.K.-based hedge fund managers thought they could skirt tough new European Union regulations—they should think again. Switzerland plans to match them.
The country's Finance Ministry said its parliament will begin debating new rules to bring Switzerland into line with impending EU rules—Switzerland is not a member of the 27-nation bloc—this year, and that the new rules will take effect next year.
Why the change? Switzerland fears that its growing funds industry will be shut out of EU markets when the bloc's new Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive takes effect. Those regulations could block any foreign manager whose local jurisdiction doesn't meet EU regulatory standards.
For Switzerland, that means the number of regulated managers could grow more than six-fold, to almost 600, one Swiss lawyer told Bloomberg News.
It's unclear what effect Switzerland's decision will have on its hedge fund industry. Many of the British funds and managers who relocated to the country did so more to avoid new, higher British taxes than impending EU rules. And if they move to remaining light-touch jurisdictions, such as Monaco or the Channel Islands, they could find themselves locked out of the EU.
The change may have a bigger effect on the Swiss themselves: Switzerland, despite having a population smaller than New York City, is one of the wealthiest countries in the world and is home to a large number of hedge fund investors, who, paradoxically, could be shut out of Switzerland if they fail to meet the stringent new requirements.
Aug 25 2014 | 11:21am ET
As many of you know, FINalternatives was recently acquired by the owners of Futures magazine, a firm called The Alpha Pages LLC. Today marks the soft-launch of a new sister site for both publications. As its name suggests, The Alpha Pages will cover all types of alternative investments, going far beyond the more well-known ones such as hedge funds and private equity. Read more…
Commodities/Futures magazine launched at the precipice of a revolution in the futures industry—really a revolution in the idea of risk management—that would move it from a small niche industry to ...