Client information for Switzerland
The Financial Sevices Act (Finanzdienstleistungsgesetz; "FinSA") came into force on January 1, 2020. FinSA aims, on the one hand, to improve client protection and, on the other hand, to create a comparable regulatory framework for the provision of financial services within the meaning of FinSA ("Financial Services") by financial service providers (such as banks, asset managers, etc.).
As a requirement for the provision of Financial Services, ARDIAN Investment Switzerland AG ("AIS") has the duty to provide certain information to its clients (Art. 8 FinSA and Art. 6 et seq. of the Financial Services Ordinance). This information brochure for clients contains this information, insofar as it is not provided to clients otherwise.
II. General Information about AIS and its Supervisory Authority
AIS has its registered office in Zurich and can be reached at the following address: Bahnhofstrasse 20, 8001 Zurich, Switzerland. AIS is a company registered in the Commercial Register of the Canton of Zurich in the legal form of a company limited by shares (Aktiengesellschaft). Its business activities include, in particular, the provision of asset management and investment advisory services and the distribution of collective investment schemes.
AIS is licensed as a manager of collective assets (Verwalter von Kollektivvermögen) by, and subject to the supervision of, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA, Laupenstrasse 27, 3003 Bern.
III. Financial Services Provided by AIS
Currently, AIS provides the following Financial Services falling within the scope of FinSA:
- investment management for collective investment schemes;
- management of assets of pension schemes;
- management of individual portfolios for professional and institutional clients within the meaning of FinSA (see IV. below);
- distribution of foreign collective investment schemes to qualified investors within the meaning of the Collective Investment Schemes Act ("CISA").
IV. Client Categorization
Financial service providers are required to assign their clients to a client category according to Art. 4 FinSA. The client category is decisive for the level of investor protection applicable to the client relationship between AIS and the client. FinSA distinguishes between the following three client categories:
- Institutional clients (institutionelle Kunden) are generally financial intermediaries subject to prudential supervision under the Banking Act (BankA), the Financial Institutions Act (FinIA) and CISA, as well as insurance companies under the Insurance Supervision Act (ISA), foreign clients subject to such prudential supervision, central banks, and national and supranational public-law entities with professional treasury operations. Institutional clients enjoy the lowest level of protection provided by FinSA, as they are considered to have extensive experience, knowledge and expertise in the field of investments.
- Professional clients (professionelle Kunden) are clients which are deemed to have sufficient experience, knowledge and expertise to use Financial Services or to make their own investment decisions and properly assess the associated risks. Professional clients enjoy a higher level of protection than institutional clients, but to a lower level of protection than retail clients.
- Retail clients (Privatkunden) are clients who are not institutional or professional clients. The retail client category enjoys to the highest level of protection provided by FinSA.
Clients have the option of switching to another client category, provided that the relevant legal requirements are met (see Art. 5 FinSA). In particular, they may declare that they:
- wish to be assigned to a lower client category – and accordingly enjoy a more comprehensive level of investor protection – (opting-in); or
- wish to be assigned to a higher client category – and accordingly enjoy a lower level of client protection – (opting-out).
AIS only assigns clients to a lower/higher client category based on such opting-in/opting-out declarations if it considers the relevant regulatory requirements to be met. An opting-in/opting-out by the client applies to the entire client relationship between AIS and the client and, accordingly, results in a change in the level of protection of the client with regard to all Financial Services which AIS provides for the client in the context of the relevant client relationship.
V. Further Information on Financial Instruments
Financial service providers must inform clients in particular on whether the market offering taken into account in the selection of financial instruments includes only their own financial instruments or also third-party financial instruments.
The financial instruments used by AIS within the scope of asset management mandates are determined by the respective asset management agreement between AIS and the client. In principle, the investment universe considered includes both financial instruments managed/advised by AIS or other entities of the ARDIAN group of companies (together "ARDIAN Group") and third-party products.
AIS only distributes collective investment schemes managed/advised by AIS or other ARDIAN Group entities.
VI. Risk Information
Transactions with financial instruments are associated with opportunities and risks. It is therefore important that clients are familiar with and understand these risks before using Financial Services.
The brochure “Risks Involved in Trading Financial Instruments” issued by the Swiss Bankers' Association contains general information on typical financial services and on the characteristics and risks of financial instruments. The risk brochure can be found here:
Risks Involved in Trading Financial Instruments | Swiss Bankers' Association
VII. Organizational Measures
a) Conflicts of Interest
As a financial services provider, AIS is obliged to take appropriate organizational measures to avoid conflicts of interest that may arise in the provision of Financial Services as far as possible or to exclude the disadvantage of its clients should a conflict of interest not be completely avoidable.
The organizational measures taken by AIS to satisfy these requirements may concern in particular the internal exchange of information among employees, the functional and organizational separation of units within the company, general rules of market conduct, the compensation policy and requirements regarding employee transactions.
If a disadvantage to clients cannot be ruled out or can only be ruled out with disproportionate effort, AIS shall disclose this in an appropriate manner, if necessary in general terms. Corresponding information is published on AIS' website or in another appropriate form.
b) Economic Ties
Insofar as any economic ties in connection with the provision of a Financial Service may lead to a conflict of interest, AIS shall draw the attention of its clients to this in an appropriate manner.
c) Third Party Benefits
If, in connection with the offering of collective investment schemes or their acquisition for its clients, AIS exceptionally receives monetary distribution compensation from third parties (in particular fund management companies), AIS shall periodically pass this on to the relevant clients.
If AIS receives compensation from third parties that cannot be passed on to clients due to its nature, it will disclose this as a conflict of interest on its website or in another appropriate form.
VIII. Ombudsman's Office
In the event of complaints or disputes concerning legal claims, the client has the option of initiating a mediation procedure with the following ombudsman's office (Ombudsstelle):
Verein "Finanzombudsstelle Schweiz (FINOS)"
Phone: +41 44 552 08 00
The following contact person of AIS is available for any questions regarding this Information Brochure and for additional information:
Head of Ardian Switzerland & Senior Managing Director
Phone: +41 44 213 27 27