The Balzers arm of Zurich-based independent asset manager Finaport has received a Liechtenstein asset management licence, Citywire Switzerland can reveal.
Günther Hotz, director of Finaport Liechtenstein, said the move will offer easier access to their EU clients.
‘With the Liechtenstein asset management licence we have an opportunity to provide financial services to clients from the EU countries, which is going to be difficult to do from Switzerland starting from the beginning of the next year under Mifid II rules.’
The firm aims to have up to seven employees by the end of the year, who will perform both client relationship management and asset management functions.
At the moment, the members of the Balzers-based team are Günther Hotz, Roland Frick and Flavio Steiner.
Hotz has 26 years of experience in the financial industry, having worked at VP Bank, Alean Capital and Cassiopeia Advisory.
He said that investment decisions of Finaport Liechtenstein will be independent from the Zurich office, despite close co-operation between the two firms.
‘We are in regular contact with the Zurich office of Finaport. On the investment side we exchange market information and tackle asset allocation issues,’ he said.
Hotz added that one other reason to set up in Liechtenstein is the number of opportunities in the private label fund business.
He said that while the fund jurisdiction is much bigger in Luxembourg, firms are able to quickly and efficiently set up Ucits, alternative investment funds and funds under the investment undertaking (IU) in Liechtenstein.
‘An IU may not be actively distributed, but is instead intended for a specific circle of investors defined in advance, which is attractive for many clients,’ Hotz explained.
According to the asset manager, Finaport Liechtenstein already has mandates for private label funds. In the meantime the firm also plans to launch real estate, fixed income and private equity funds in the near future.