EU securities regulators and the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (“FINMA”) have agreed terms on the cross-border supervision of alternative investment funds, including hedge funds, private equity and real estate funds.

The agreement will take the form of a memorandum of understanding (“MoU”) between ESMA, who represented all EU member states during negotiations, and FINMA.  The MoU arrangements include cross-border on-site visits, mutual assistance in the enforcement of the respective supervisory laws and the exchange of information. 

The MoU will apply to Swiss AIFMs that manage or market AIFs in the EU and to EU AIFMs that mange or market AIFs in Switzerland. The MoU also covers co-operation in the cross-border supervision of depositories and AIFMs’ delegates. EU authorities will be able to share relevant information received from FINMA with other EU authorities, ESMA and the European Systemic Risk Board, provided appropriate safeguards apply.

The existence of co-operation arrangements between the EU and non-EU authorities is a pre-condition of the AIFMD for allowing managers from third countries to access EU markets or perform fund management by delegation from EU managers.  The EU/Swiss co-operation arrangements are applicable from 21 July 2013 and enable cross-border management and marketing of AIFs.