The Swiss EAM and trustees industry has gone through a major regulatory change in recent years. FINMA, the regulator, recently set out new data on licences.
Switzerland’s financial regulator has reported that by the end of
2023, 1,195 licences were granted to 1,187 institutions, of which
eight obtained a dual licence both as a portfolio manager and a
The total assets under management of such entities stood at SFr216 billion ($247 billion), the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, or FINMA (pictured), said in a statement earlier in February.
The regulator has updated the market on how many external asset managers (EAMs) and trustees have signed up to the new regulatory system that took force at the start of 2023.
The new regulations – imposing new reporting and governance requirements on EAMs – are designed to raise investor protection and remove risks to the wider financial system. Already, the changes have been cited as reasons for consolidation in the EAM sector. EAMs have often been founded by breakaway teams from banks. This news service, noting the importance of the sector, has an awards programme for EAMs, with the forthcoming ceremony due to be held in Zurich on Wednesday 6 March.
FINMA charged SFr6,411 per application for a licence, it said in a statement.
Most of the licensed portfolio managers and trustees are microenterprises in the legal form of a société anonyme/Aktiengesellschaft (company limited by shares) with fewer than three full-time positions.
The watchdog noted that as at the end of 2023, 63 of the 1,699 licence applications received by the end of 2022 had been withdrawn. The main reasons for this were a targeted change in the business model which meant that the licence was no longer needed, or a liquidation or merger.
FINMA said that last year, some institutions were “sometimes slow in responding to its questions, with some institutions taking several months and needing to be reminded by FINMA.” It added: “The applications submitted at the end of 2022 were generally of lower quality. This can be explained primarily by the approaching end of the transitional period, but it implies that FINMA faces extra work in the licensing process due to additional analysis and supplements to files.”
See another article about the new Swiss regulatory regime.