In the event of material changes in circumstances, the manager of collective assets must obtain prior authorisation from FINMA before resuming operations.
Since the FinIA entered into force on 1 January 2020, asset managers who manage assets on a commercial basis in the name and on behalf of occupational pension schemes must also be authorised by FINMA. They must therefore comply with the legal provisions set out in the section on authorisation requirements. Explanations on transition periods can be found via this link.
Even after the management of assets by the occupational pension scheme has been delegated to an asset manager authorised by FINMA, the occupational pension scheme must ensure that the legal requirements (e.g. OPA, OPO 1, OPO 2) are complied with. The cantonal OPA supervisory authorities supervise compliance with these legal requirements by occupational pension schemes and other institutions whose purpose is to serve occupational pensions. This supervision lies beyond the jurisdiction of FINMA.
In addition to the general requirements for authorisation set out in Article 7 ff. FinIA, managers of collective assets must meet the following requirements (Arts. 24 FinIA and 34 ff. FinIO) in order to obtain authorisation from FINMA:
Institutions that meet the following requirements are exceptionally deemed to be asset managers and not managers of collective assets.
Institutions that manage collective investment schemes whose investors are deemed to be qualified investors are deemed to be asset managers. Assets under management of such collective investment schemes may not exceed CHF 100m including leveraged assets or CHF 500m for non-leveraged assets where investors cannot exercise termination and redemption rights for a period of five years.
Also deemed asset managers are institutions that manage the assets of occupational pension schemes totalling no more than CHF 100m and manage no more than 20% of the assets of an individual occupational pension scheme.
Institutions that according to these specifications do not require authorisation as managers of collective assets (Art. 24 para. 2 FinIA) may request authorisation as managers of collective assets provided this is required by the state where the collective investment scheme is established or offered or where the occupational pension scheme is managed (Art. 24 para. 3 FinIA).
Managers of collective assets are responsible for the portfolio and risk management of the assets entrusted to them and may also perform administrative tasks in accordance with Art. 26 FinIA.
Managers of collective assets must notify FINMA of any changes in the facts on which the authorisation is based. If the changes are of material significance, prior authorisation must be obtained from FINMA in order to resume operations (Art. 8 FinIA in conjunction with Art. 10 FinIO).
Any intention to cease operations as manager of collective assets requires prior approval from FINMA (Art. 8 FinIA). The regulatory auditor will also be asked to give its opinion of the intended action.
Managers of occupational pension scheme assets who have become subject to an authorisation requirement must notify FINMA within six months of the FinIA coming into force. This notification takes place exclusively via a registration form available on the EHP survey and application platform.
Managers of occupational pension scheme assets must self-register to gain access to the EHP. They can do this via the FINMA homepage. Following self-registration and the review by FINMA, they will be able to access the EHP through the FINMA portal via two-factor identification.
The following documents can be used when applying for or making changes to authorisation required to operate as a manager of collective assets: