In Switzerland ‘qualified investors’ are defined in the following legal provisions:
1. Pursuant to Article 10(3) of the Collective Investment Schemes Act (CISA) the following legal persons constitute qualified investors:
(a) Regulated financial intermediaries such as banks, securities traders, fund management companies and asset managers of collective investment schemes as well as central banks
(b) Regulated insurance institutions
(c) Public entities and retirement benefits institutions with professional treasury operations
(d) Companies with professional treasury operations
2. Pursuant to Article 10(3bis) CISA and Article 6 of the Collective Investment Schemes Ordinance (CISO) high-net-worth individuals constitute qualified investors if they confirm in writing that
(a) they have the knowledge required to comprehend the risks of the investments based on their individual education and professional experience or based on comparable experience in the financial sector, and that they hold assets of at least CHF 500,000
(b) they hold assets of at least CHF 5 million.
The financial investments directly or indirectly owned by the investors are attributed to the assets, including:
Demand and time deposits
Securities, including collective investment schemes and structured products
Derivative financial instruments
Life insurance policies with a surrender value
Direct investments in real estate, social security entitlements and occupational pension assets are not financial investments. The assets pursuant to (b) may comprise immovable assets of up to CHF 2 million. Immovable assets are included at their net value. The net value is calculated on the basis of the market value less all debt associated with the immovable asset.
3. Finally, investors are considered qualified if they have concluded a written asset management agreement with
(a) a regulated financial intermediary
(b) an independent asset manager, provided that
1. the financial intermediary is subject to the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA),
2. the asset manager is subject to the code of conduct of a professional association that the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA recognizes as a minimum standard,
3. the asset management agreement complies with the guidelines of a professional association that FINMA recognizes as a minimum standard.