Corporate access: a MiFID 2 sideshow that might yet cause a headache for asset managers

Brokers provide asset managers with trade execution and corporate access. The latter comprises meetings between executives of listed corporate and institutional investors, mostly in the form of so-called non-deal roadshows. Many investment professionals consider these meetings to be a crucial part of their investment process.

Hitherto asset managers paid the brokers for all these services via a ‘bundled’ fee for trades. The trading costs are directly charged to the funds, i.e. paid directly out of the assets of the investors. The sums involved here are significant.

MiFID 2, applicable as of January 2018, generally aims for increased transparency and improved consumer protection. Part of this is a massive push for unbundling, whereby asset managers have to pay separately for trading, research and corporate access. The rules with respect to corporate access are, however, still somewhat murky.

Read the full report

Please do not hesitate to contact us.

Dr. Guenther Dobrauz
Partner
Legal FS Regulatory and Compliance Services
+41 58 792 23 25
guenther.dobrauz@ch.pwc.com

Michael Taschner
Senior Manager
Legal FS Regulatory and Compliance Services
+41 58 792 23 25
michael.taschner@ch.pwc.com

Orkan Sahin
Senior
Legal FS Regulatory & Compliance Services
+41 58 792 1994
orkan.sahin@ch.pwc.com

Dr. Kilian Maier
Interaction Partners AG
CEO / Co-Founder
+41 76 570 11 60
kilian.maier@interactionpartners.ch

 

Update on the Financial Market Infrastructure Act (FMIA) for small non-financial counterparties (NFC-)

On 1 April 2017, the Swiss regulator authorised and recognised Regis-TR S.A. and SIX Trade Repository AG as the first trade repositories accepted for purposes of fulfilling the reporting obligations under the FMIA. With this, the picture has become far clearer. Swiss companies are now able to decipher a concrete timeline of the performance obligations which apply to them.

Compliance with the law is subject to audit for financial years beginning on or after 1 January 2017. If your organisation requires assistance in establishing your compliance with the law, our experts stand ready to assist you.

Download the full report here

Contact

Stefan Wüest
Treasury Solutions – Basel / Zurich
058 792 5951
stefan.wueest@ch.pwc.com

PwC’s Legal Services – Employment News – Bonuses: gratuity or salary component?

 

ABSTRACT

It is quite common for employee compensation to comprise a basic salary plus a variable component (usually referred to as a “bonus”). As the Swiss legal system does not know the term ‘bonus’ as such, deciding how variable compensation should be categorised legally and whether it qualifies as a gratuity or as part of an employee’s salary, is problematic. Making the distinction involves taking a closer look at both the underlying contractual basis and the company’s practice. What at first seems to be a fairly trivial question of definition turns out to have significant legal implications.

  1. LEGAL CATEGORISATION
    Whether a bonus is to be considered a gratuity, performance pay, profit-sharing or a hybrid depends primarily on how the contract is drafted. But it also depends on the company’s practice when it comes to paying the bonus, and how it relates to the employee’s salary (its accessory nature).

a) Contractual formulation
The key here is whether the bonus can be viewed as a voluntary gratuity, or whether it’s been formulated in such a way that the amount has been determined, or is at least determinable, and is thus no longer at the employer’s discretion. In the first scenario, a bonus can be considered a gratuity. If the amount of the bonus has been determined or is determinable, it’s generally assumed to be a component of salary. For example, a bonus linked solely to operating profit or other specific financials would be determinable. But if a bonus is linked to personal performance targets that have not been measurably formulated respectively the achievement of these targets involves a subjective appraisal, or if its payment (despite the bonus being determinable) is at the employer’s discretion, the bonus should be treated as a gratuity. This also applies if the bonus is paid out by the employer as a completely voluntary special payment.

Continue to read in our current newsletter.

If you have questions, please contact your usual PwC contact person or one of PwC Switzerland´s legal experts named below.

Martin Zeier
Legal Services
martin.zeier@ch.pwc.com
Myriam Büchi
Legal Services
myriam.buechi-baentli@ch.pwc.com
Christine Bassanello
Legal Services
christine.bassanello@ch.pwc.com

Webinar: How US tax reform impacts Switzerland

Wednesday, 3 May 2017, 4–5pm CET

US tax reform is one of the key topics in the US under the Trump administration. Various proposals are being discussed and prepared − notably measures with the common goal of making the US corporate tax system more competitive. Given the potential magnitude of the proposed changes and the short timeframe within which legal changes are usually implemented in the US, it’s time to consider what US tax reform could mean for Switzerland and Swiss-based companies that do business in the US.

This webinar addresses questions such as:

  • How is the US tax system unique?
  • What’s involved in the process of transforming tax reform into US law?
  • What are the options for tax reform, and how do they compare and contrast (Camp plan, Trump proposal, Republican blueprint)?
  • What are the consequences for Swiss companies doing business in the US (e.g. interest deducibility, treatment of intangibles, state taxes and border adjustment tax)?
  • What impact will US tax reform have on the Swiss tax reform?

To register for the online event, please click on the link below.

WEBEX LINK

Once you have registered, you will receive the WebEx access details. The WebEx will be recorded and you will receive a link to the recording via e-mail after the event using the same details. There will be time for questions and answers with your speakers during the WebEx. Questions can also be sent in advance of the WebeX session to the following email address: rolf.j.roellin@us.pwc.com.

We do hope that you will join us online!

If you have questions, please contact your usual PwC contact person or one of our US tax experts named below.

Matina M. Walt
Partner
Swiss Tax Desk
PwC New York / Switzerland
martina.m.walt@us.pwc.com

Bernard Moens
Principal
PwC US
bernard.e.moens@us.pwc.com

 

Event series − VAT in ERP systems: how does it challenge IT, the Tax Administration and tax experts?

Save the date for our upcoming series of events on VAT in ERP systems: how does it challenge IT, the Tax Administration and tax experts?

ERP systems are often not equipped to handle the complex requirements of VAT correctly, flexibly and efficiently without extra work or manual intervention.

The legal requirements are constantly changing, and on the basis of the OECD guidelines many countries are exchanging data or demanding evermore detailed information from taxpayers. Organisations are well on the way to transparency.

At these events we’ll be discussing the views of our clients, looking at the different needs of the IT and tax functions, and finally sharing some insights from the Tax Administration.

The aim of the events is to talk about experiences and needs, learn from each other, and build ‘best practice’ together. If required this dialogue can be continued afterwards within our “ITX ERP Support Community”. In the beginning, the questions and the coordination of the same language in the cooperation of the tax and IT department are at the company’s disposal. Our discussions will revolve around the issues that organisations face and creating a common language enabling the tax and IT functions to work together.

Have we piqued your interest? We look forward to welcoming you to one of our discussions.

The dates are planned as follows:

Zurich

  • Wednesday, 31 May 2017, 4.30 pm registration / welcome drink
  • 5.00 pm start, 6.00 pm end, followed by an apéro and individual discussions and questions
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers AG, Birchstrasse 160, 8050 Zurich

Berne

  • Tuesday, 6 June 2017, 4.30 pm registration / welcome drink
  • 5.00 pm start, 6.00 pm end, followed by an apéro and individual discussions and questions
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers AG, Bahnhofplatz 10, 3001 Berne

Geneva

  • Thursday, 15 June 2017, 4.30 pm registration / welcome drink
  • 5.00 pm start, 6.00 pm end, followed by an apéro and individual discussions and questions
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers AG, Avenue Giuseppe-Motta 50, 1211 Geneva
  • This event takes place in English. To discuss your questions, local PwC colleagues will be at your disposal

Basel

  • Thursday, 22 June 2017, 4.30 pm registration / welcome drink
  • 5.00 pm start, 6.00 pm end, followed by an apéro and individual discussions and questions
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers AG, St.Jakobs-Strasse 25, 4002 Basel

The detailed programme will be published on our website www.pwc.ch/academy in the next few days.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with your usual PwC contact person or one of the experts below

Your contacts

Ilona Paakkala
Director
ITX Technology Leader
Tel. +41 58 792 42 58
paakkala.ilona@ch.pwc.com

Sandra Wirz
Senior Manager
ITX ERP Support Responsible
Tel. +41 58 792 25 32
sandra.wirz@ch.pwc.com

China comes to Weggis – PwC experts on site

China Firm Roadshow

Many Swiss companies have a business presence in the China market – are you one of them? Our PwC colleagues from the People’s Republic of China will present their views and analyses on the general business environment, changes in the tax regime and transaction trends.

China is going digital at a faster speed than most countries, and many foreign
companies use digital channels to approach their customers in China. China’s new Cyber Security Law will have far-reaching consequences for any company that has operations in China, foreign companies included. Our experts will highlight the key regulatory and tax-related changes that may affect your company as well.

Chinese investors have become increasingly present in Switzerland. In the concluding panel of this PwC event, experts from different industries will discuss the burning questions such as what Chinese investors are looking for in Europe, how they will manage the newly acquired companies, and what possible implications there are for Swiss businesses.

We would like to discuss these topical issues with you in a one-to-one meeting and on our China Weggis Event.

Dates

China Weggis Event: Wednesday, 31 May 2017

One-to-one meetings: 29 – 31 May 2017

Click here for more details

Registration

Please register online for the event and the one-to-one meetings:

Online registration

Contact

Felix Sutter 
Head Asia Business Group
SCCC President
Partner PwC
+41 58 792 2820
felix.sutter@ch.pwc.com

Stefan Räbsamen
Partner PwC
+41 58 792 2622
stefan.raebsamen@ch.pwc.com

 

Reimagine and transform your finance function in the digital age

‘Digital’ is not just about the technology. It’s about new ways of solving problems, creating unique experiences and accelerating business performance. Responding to the digital age is about the need to change the whole operational approach. CFOs will need to adopt a new mindset and language to lead transformational change.

Current megatrends shaping the finance function include digital agility, enterprise risk management, automation and robotisation, big data and data analytics, outsourcing and offshoring as well as compliance. External factors are driving the need for change and include new competitors (such as FinTech and RegTech), the necessity of responding flexibly to accounting standard changes (such as IFRS 9 and IFRS 17) and the need for agile responses to increasing regulatory requirements.

In light of the evolving role of the finance function, industry leaders have recognised that change needs to happen, as they have realised that digital technology will reshape competition over the next few years. A digital finance function will have new accountabilities and opportunities to generate more insight and add value. Whilst the finance function currently spends a lot of time on transactional processing and report production, there is now a real opportunity to move towards standardised reports and data alignment, which will increase the finance function’s ability to generate insight.

With local teams and a strong track record in areas such as automation, cloud computing, financial transformation, target operating model design and big data, PwC can help you transform your finance function to make it ready for the digital age. In our paper we look at current trends and key challenges facing the finance function


Download the paper here.

 

You can contact us at any time

Patrick Mäder
Partner
+41 58 792 4590
maeder.patrick@ch.pwc.com

Patrick Akiki
Partner
+41 58 792 2519
akiki.patrick@ch.pwc.com

Latest Level 3 ESMA Q & As related to MiFID II/MiFIR

ESMA published and updated in the last couple of days additional Level 3 Q&A papers. Due to the specification and clarification purposes of the Level 3 papers, this should help you during the implementation phase and could clarify open questions. Please find the relevant April 2017 Q&As below.

PwC provides you with this Newsletter an overview of the latest questions related to the following topics:

  1. Transparency
    – Best execution
    – Inducements
  1. Market Structure
    – Direct Electronic Access (DEA) and algorithmic trading
    – Multilateral and bilateral systems
  1. Data Reporting
    – Field 23 – Seniority of the Bond
    – Business Case: Inflation Indexed Bond
    – Transaction reporting

Read the whole article.

We are happy to discuss with you any thoughts and issues or are happy to review your solutions with regard to MiFID II and MiFIR.

Please do not hesitate to contact us.

Guenther Dobrauz
Partner
Legal FS Regulatory and Compliance Services
+41 58 792 23 25
guenther.dobrauz@ch.pwc.com

Michael Taschner
Senior Manager
Legal FS Regulatory and Compliance Services
+41 58 792 23 25
michael.taschner@ch.pwc.com

Turkey: changes in relation to the Electronic Record Keeping Requirements and e-invoicing

Electronic Record Keeping Requirements

The Turkish Revenue Administration (TRA) has introduced the Electronic Record Keeping Obligations by issuing the Tax Procedural Law General Communique no. 431 on 29 December 2013. As a result, since 1 January 2015 certain Turkish taxpayers (from petroleum and tobacco products market) are obliged to create and keep their records in one of the certain formats (xls, xlsx, txt, csv or xml). The application of the requirements relates to sales, purchase, inventory, import, export, production and other records. The Turkish Tax Authorities can request the files with the records in certain format in case of the audit.

E-invoicing

In March 2010, Tax Procedural Law General Communiqué no. 397 was officially published and e-invoicing became available in Turkey. Later, with the publication of Communiqué no. 421, taxpayers with a gross sales revenue of 10 million TL and above for 2011 or onwards accounting period, taxpayers that import or sell petrol products, alcoholic beverages and tobacco products are mandated to comply with this application.


Download the full report here.

 

Contact

Kinga Zawora
PwC Zürich
+41 58 792 2262
kinga.x.zawora@ch.pwc.com

Mastering the challenges of IFRS 16 (Leases)

Following the new requirements coming with the introduction of IFRS 16 replacing the IAS 17. We are presenting you in this webinar the challenges the new standard has brought beyond the accounting perspective. Such as –

  • data collection,
  • disclosure management and
  • overall performance analysis.

Among all the solutions we recommend, we are showing you in this webinar how these issues can be mastered with Tagetik combining a state-of-the-art EPM tool and our accounting expertise for a smooth, non-disruptive solution.

Please find the link to our webinar here

Contacts

Alberto Della Santina
Senior Manager Advisory
+41 58 792 4950
alberto.della.santina@ch.pwc.com

Daniel Knechtli
Senior Manager Assurance
+41 58 792 2641
daniel.knechtli@ch.pwc.com

André Bütikofer
Manager Advisory
+41 58 792 4467
andre.buetikofer@ch.pwc.com