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One-person asset manager under FinIA

By the end of 2022, asset managers who are already active must have submitted a licence application to a supervisory organisation (via the FINMA platform). However, in order to avoid delays, it is strongly recommended that the application be submitted early, as the supervisory organisation must also review it before FINMA. Currently there are five different supervisory organisations that supervise asset managers (https://finma.ch/en/bewilligung/aufsichtsorganisationen/). 

The law requires two managing directors for an asset manager. The question now arises for asset managers who up to now have been active as lone fighters as to how best to proceed. 

Such one-person asset managers must implement a proxy solution. This means that the asset manager must prove that in the event of a default, the business can be continued for the clients or a proper liquidation can be carried out. 

Such proof can be provided with a cooperation agreement with a third party.

Such a cooperation partner must be at least an equivalently supervised and authorised financial institution (usually a legal entity). The cooperation relationship must already be contractually regulated at the time of authorisation. 

In the case of an agreement on liquidation, contractual arrangements must also be made with a cooperation partner. However, the cooperation partner for the liquidation does not have to be an authorised financial institution, but must have the expertise to carry out a liquidation (e.g. a lawyer or trustee).

However, this fall-back solution is only one of the challenges for one-person asset managers in the authorisation process. Another important issue is the internal control system, which concerns risk management and compliance. One-person asset managers must also have these organisational control mechanisms implemented. Here, a balance has to be found between self-control and outsourcing of these functions to third-party providers.

It is therefore strongly recommended to address these aspects early on in the authorisation process. LezziLegal is of course always at your disposal with pragmatic solutions.


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