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Distribution of collective investment schemes

The distribution of collective investment schemes is included in the self-regulation regime for the following reasons:

  • as the direct interface to the clients, distributors have a particularly onerous responsibility, especially with regard to the duty to disclose information
  • since different distributors can be subject to different supervisory authorities, there is no uniform regime at this level

The Guidelines on the Distribution of Collective Investment Schemes essentially call for providers of Swiss and foreign collective investment schemes in Switzerland to

  • exercise due diligence in selecting distributors, and
  • ensure a systematic framework for the working relationship and supervision of the distributors.

Distributors have to meet high professional standards in their dealings with clients, and must take the necessary organizational steps to ensure that they comply with the applicable provisions at all times. Distributors must also have their compliance with the pertinent provisions checked by an auditor.

Distribution agreement

Providers of Swiss and foreign collective investment schemes must conclude distribution agreements with their distributors. These agreements essentially cover the following:

  • the rights and obligations of the parties
  • the distributor's scope for appointing other distributors or 'sub-distributors'
  • remunerations.

The distribution agreement obliges distributors to comply with the applicable provisions at all times and to have this checked by their auditors.