A new regulatory environment
On June 15, 2018, the Swiss Parliament adopted two laws to which all financial intermediaries have been subject since January 1, 2020: the Federal Act on Financial Institutions (FinIA) and the Federal Act on Financial Services (FinSA). They entail a major reorganisation in Swiss financial market law.
These laws pursue the objective of putting the various providers on an equal footing, with a level playing field. They are also aimed at enhanced protection for investors. These two texts determine the obligations incumbent on asset managers, both from the point of view of their organisation and of the service offered to the client.
All asset managers are henceforth subject to permanent control by a Supervisory Body (OS) and must have a license to practice issued by the Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA).
In this context, it was necessary to redraw the contours of a business model that was to evolve. The issue of critical size, often at the center of debates since the year 2000 and which has remained without real materialisation on the structure of the market, has returned to the heart of the concerns.
The arrival of this new regulatory framework has prompted certain players in the sector to anticipate and find innovative solutions to deal with it.
A solution: MANTOR SA (foundation: July 2013)
It is in this state of mind that MANTOR SA was developed in particular by the partners of ProTrading Sàrl who are among the founding shareholders. A management and services company for asset managers and their clients, its model is based on the centralisation of administrative and compliance services (compliance with regulatory compliance, risk control) and on the decentralisation of asset management services by affiliated entities.
ProTrading Sàrl therefore signed an agreement with MANTOR SA and became one of its independent financial auxiliaries (AFI), according to the ordinance on money laundering (OBA). The clients, for their part, signed a management mandate contract with MANTOR SA. The historical contacts for customers remain the contact persons.
ProTrading Sàrl is therefore integrated into the organisational and control measures of MANTOR SA, but delivers its asset management service in a decentralised manner, while retaining its independence in terms of management practices, remuneration structure, premises and staff.
With MANTOR SA becoming the authorised entity responsible for regulatory and legal obligations, ProTrading Sàrl is considered a financial auxiliary and is therefore no longer directly subject to prudential supervision. In mid-2020, nearly 20 independent managers with assets under management of around a billion francs in total, have chosen to join MANTOR SA.
MANTOR SA is based in Geneva and also in Lugano. An independent company (MANTOR UK Ltd) is also present in London and regulated by the British Supervisory Authority (FCA) since 2016. In Zurich, Asset Managers & Trust Organisation AG completes the system.