ETFs: A roadmap to growth

We are pleased to share the perspectives we have gained in our 2nd Annual Global Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) survey entitled “ETFs: A roadmap to growth”. ETFs continue to dominate flows, setting a record US$351 billion in global flows for 2015.1 Regional ETF record flows were achieved in Europe and Canada, while the US and Asia regions approached nearrecord flows in 2015.2 Based on a variety of factors outlined in this publication, the survey participants expect even more ETF growth across North America, Europe and Asia, with global ETF assets expected to exceed US$7 trillion by 2021. Based on our Global ETF Growth Model, we agree with survey participants’ expectations.

For the Survey PwC questionned executives from approximately 60 firms around the world in 2015 using a combination of structured questionnaires and in-depth interviews. More than 70% of the participants were ETF managers or sponsors, with the remaining participants divided between asset managers not currently offering ETFs and service providers. Participating firms account for more than 80% of global ETF assets. We express our sincere thanks to those who participated in this Survey.

Access the full survey here.

IRS releases draft Form W-8IMY

The IRS released a draft version of Form W-8IMY ( Certificate of Foreign Intermediary, Flow-Through Entity, or Certain U.S. Branches for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting ) with a September 2016 revision date recently, but has not issued draft instructions.

Part III (Qualified Intermediary) has been modified as anticipated to include certifications with respect to qualified derivative dealer (QDD) status and for situations where a qualified intermediary (QI) assumes primary withholding responsibility under Chapters 3 and 4 of the Internal Revenue Code and primary Form 1099 reporting and backup withholding responsibility for all payments of substitute interest. The draft form retains the qualified securities lender (QSL) certifications that are in the April 2014 version of the form as those certifications continue to be applicable until the new QDD provisions become effective. See our Insight: Proposed qualified intermediary agreement includes qualified derivatives dealer provisions for more information.

Other noted changes include:

  • A new Part XVI was added for a certification to be made by certified deemed-compliant investment advisors and investment managers.
  • References to sponsored entities that have not obtained a global intermediary identification number (GIIN) have been removed.
  • Part XIX (Nonreporting IGA FFI) has been modified by adding:
    • check boxes to identify whether the applicable intergovernmental agreement (IGA) is a Model 1 or Model 2,
    • a space for the name of a sponsor and for the trustee of a trustee documented trust, and
    • references US Department of the Treasury regulations as a basis for nonreporting IGA foreign financial institution (FFI) status.

Observation: Interestingly, there was no change to line 14e of Part III (Qualified Intermediary). Industry has been looking for clarification regarding when line 14e is required to be completed. Presumably, that issue will be addressed in the draft instructions. In addition to the line 14e issue, the draft instructions should offer more insight into the other form changes.

For more information, please contact a member of your PwC engagement team or one of the members of PwC’s Global Information Reporting Network. To view contacts for over 70 countries worldwide, click here.

Switzerland initiates consultation on the ordinance on the International Automatic Exchange of Information in Tax Matters

On 18 May 2016, the Federal Council initiated the consultation on the ordinance on the International Automatic Exchange of Information in Tax Matters, which will last until 9 September 2016. The ordinance contains the Federal Council’s implementing provisions for the Federal Act on the International Automatic Exchange of Information in Tax Matters (AEOI Act). Particularly, the ordinance mentions other non-reporting financial institutions and exempt accounts (e.g. Accounts held by lawyers or notaries for their clients). Furthermore, it regulates details with regard to the reporting and due diligence requirements for reporting Swiss financial institutions, and it regulates the applicability of the alternative rules according to the OECD CRS Commentary. Additionally, Switzerland released its “White-List” in the ordinance. For Switzerland, all jurisdictions which have committed to the AEOI, as well as the United States of America, are regarded as participating jurisdictions. So far, only Luxembourg has accepted the US on its “White-List”. The British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Liechtenstein, UK, Holland and Ireland all have not accepted the US as a participating jurisdiction.

For more information, please find the official press release of the Federal Council here.


SECA guidelines for the calculation and disclosure of costs of private market funds


You can find the SECA guidelines for the calculation and disclosure of costs of private market funds here!


These guidelines concern the calculation and disclosure of the costs of private market funds, such as unincorporated firms (LPCIs according to CISA or Limited Partnerships), SICARs (venture capital firms under Luxembourg law), listed companies with a focus on private market investments or similar investment vehicles (“closed-ended collective investment schemes or CIS”). These guidelines should ensure the consistent implementation of art. 48a OPO 2 on the disclosure of the costs of private market funds and, thus, the highest possible transparency on the costs of private market funds in the Swiss market.

In substance, the present guidelines are based on the Swiss Funds and Asset Management Association (SFAMA) guidelines for the calculation and disclosure of the Total Expense Rate (TER) and Portfolio Turnover Rate (PTR) of collective investment schemes dated 16 May 2008, as well as the directive on the reporting of asset management costs of the Oberaufsichtskommission Berufliche Vorsorge (Occupational Pension Supervisory Commission (“OPSC directive”)) dated 23 April 2013.


If you have any questions or wish to discuss these guidelines, please do not hesitate to contact us:


Adrian Keller
Birchstrasse 160
Postfach, 8050 Zürich
+41 58 792 23 09

IRS releases updated Form W-8BEN-E and instructions

On 15 April 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released updated final versions of Form W-8BEN-E, Certificate of Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting (Entities), and Instructions for Form W-8BEN-E.

Withholding agents may continue to accept the prior version of Form W-8BEN-E (dated February 2014) for six months after the April 2016 revision date on the updated version, but may not accept the prior version once use of the updated version becomes mandatory at the end of October 2016.

For more information regarding the changes included in the new Form W-8BEN-E, please see our recent PwC Tax Insight.

MiFID II Delegated Acts finally published

The first part of the long-awaited MiFID II Delegated Acts was at last published on 7 April 2016. The MiFID II Delegated Directive (DD) brings most welcome clarity on some contentious investor protection issues, and confirms some key changes that firms need to accomplish in several important areas.

The Delegated Directive does not represent a carbon copy of ESMA’s December 2014 Technical Advice. But in the vast majority of cases, the changes made by the European Commission are not likely to be of material consequence to most firms – though some will be important.

In the attached briefing, we highlight the key differences between ESMA’s Technical Advice and the European Commission’s conclusions, and comment on the likely consequences of changes for firms.

3 January 2018 may sound like it is still a long way off, but given the nature and scale of changes most firms still need to make, it will come round very quickly. The delay to the MiFID II go-live date has given firms a welcome opportunity to take stock of their MiFID II implementation efforts. The EC’s publication of the DD means that there is now new work to do to, and it is time to move forward. It’s therefore important that you quickly establish the impact of the latest developments on your organisation, and move to make the necessary changes to your implementation programmes and strategic thinking. For example, some firms will need to analyse the changes to the requirements on research payment accounts, and consider whether they can now maintain their CSAs, albeit with some modifications. Others will need to consider whether in light of the DD they are now more likely to be able to engage in increased TTCA with non-retail clients.

We have a vast amount of experience supporting firms across the sector with MiFID II gap analysis, impact assessment, programme management and strategic implementation. We have deep expertise in all areas of MiFID II, from investor protection and governance, through to transparency and market structure. We can also help you understand the strategic opportunities MiFID II brings, and help you establish the cumulative impact of the broader regulatory change agenda, across the EU and beyond. If you would like to discuss any of the issues described above in more detail, please contact me.

Find the directive amending MiFID here.

MiFID II can be obtained at the following website:

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Günther Dobrauz, Michael Taschner or Philipp Rosenauer.


Risk Mitigation Obligations

The material impact for Swiss domiciled entities (banks, insurance companies, fund management companies, commodities traders, pharmaceutical and/or industrial companies) of the ESMA Final Draft OTC Derivatives Risk MitigationTechnical Standards on the risk mitigation measures that have to be implemented under EMIR and the Swiss Financial Market Infrastructure Act (FinfraG/FMIA).

The European regulators (ESMA, EBA and EIOPA) have issued the final draft of regulatory standards on risk-mitigation techniques related to OTC derivatives trading. These provisions apply to most Swiss-domiciled entities trading in OTC derivatives with an EU-domiciled entity, and will (indirectly) also affect the implementation of the risk mitigation measures under FinfraG at Swiss-domiciled entities falling within the scope of application of FinfraG/FMIA. The new standards will enter into force in the next couple of months, although they must technically still be approved by the European Commission. This publication gives a short overview of the main areas addressed by the new provisions.

Please contact with any question about the publication Günther Dobrauz or your previous contact at PwC.



Redefining business success in a changing world

19th Annual Global CEO Survey/February 2016

In this year’s survey, global business leaders voice fresh concerns about economic and business growth. At the same time, they see a more divergent and multi-polar world where technology is transforming the expectations of customers and other stakeholders. In Redefining business success in a changing world, we explore how CEOs are addressing these challenges. We surveyed 1,409 CEOs in 45 countries and a range of industries in the last quarter of 2015, and conducted face-to-face interviews with 33 CEOs.


Key findings in the asset management industry


CaptureSpecifically in asset management, volatile markets have shaken CEOs’ confidence in economic growth. Yet in spite of this they remain confident about the outlook for their businesses. Our survey reveals a high level of optimism, which CEOs go on to illustrate in a series of fascinating interviews. They’re on the right side of a number of powerful trends. Retirement patterns across the US, Europe and Asia for example are leading to enormous opportunities, as are the opening up of new geographical markets and products that might disrupt banking.

If you are interested in reading more, please access our full report on the asset management sector “Redefining business success in a changing world” here.


To see all results of the 19th Annual Global Survey, please visit



New FATCA exception clause for accounts held by lawyers or notaries

On 1 March 2016, the Switzerland State Secretariat for Financial Matters (SIF) announced the signing of an agreement between the competent authorities of Switzerland and the United States regarding a new FATCA exception clause for certain accounts held by lawyers or notaries.

With this exception clause, accounts maintained for specific purposes (e.g., accounts for specific activities protected by professional confidentiality laws) by lawyers or notaries will be excluded from the scope of the application of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). As a result of this exception, the financial institution maintaining the account will not have to identify the clients of lawyers or notaries, provided the lawyers or notaries confirm in writing to the financial institution that the accounts meet the requirements outlined within the exception clause. This new exception will help to ensure that the professional confidentiality of lawyers and notaries will be maintained under Swiss law.

The Swiss Banker’s Association (SBA) is already working to amend the Form R to consider this new information. As soon as the form is amended and approved by FINMA, it will be released via circular to the members of the SBA.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Christoph Schärer.

MiFID II delay until 3 January 2018 officially confirmed

We welcome the certainty which the announcement that the MiFID II package will be delayed by one year brings for firms in the EU. Since ESMA’s request last October that parts of MiFID II be delayed, firms have had to continue their MiFID II implementation plans with the uncertainty of the delay to all or part of the package hanging over them.

On 10 February 2016, the Commission proposed a one year extension to the entry into application of MiFID II and MiFIR. The entire MiFID II package, comprising the recast directive and MiFIR will therefore not come into effect on 3 January 2017, but on 3 January 2018. It was decided to follow a “full delay”, i.e. MiFID II and MiFIR are delayed entirely and not only certain parts of it. This will come as a relief to firms as it provides greater certainty than a more complex delay of only parts of the legislation. The new deadline will now need to be approved by the European Council and the European Parliament.

The extension of entry into application should not impact adoption of delegated acts and technical standards. The Commission should adopt these measures in accordance with the procedure envisaged in order to allow the industry to set up and adjust internal systems to ensure compliance with new requirements.

There have been some rumours in the past about a potential delay of MiFID II and MiFIR. However, the scope (both from a time and content perspective) of such delay was unclear until now. The delay is especially caused by the complex technical infrastructure that needs to be set up for the MiFID II package to work effectively. ESMA has to collect data from about 300 trading venues on about 15 million financial instruments. The European Commission was informed by ESMA that neither the competent authorities nor the market participants would have the necessary systems ready by 3 January 2017.

Firms should use the additional time they have to implement MiFID II wisely. The scale of the challenge remains considerable, so firms should not see the delay as a reason to put their implementation plans on hold, particularly where technology changes are required. Rather, they should seek to use the additional time available to perform the deep impact analysis required to facilitate strategic decision making.

Despite the greater clarity that the announcement brings, some areas of uncertainty remain for firms. As MAR is set to enter into application on 3 July 2016, there is already a provision in it, which ensures that before the originally foreseen date of entry into application of MiFID II, concepts and rules of MiFID I will apply. However, the interaction with PRIIPs still remains unclear.

Besides that, it seems at this stage that national legislators will not be given an extension to the June deadline for national transposition. On the one hand, the timetable for national legislators is now very tight to consult on draft rules and create the necessary legislation. On the other, a delay to this process would begin to undermine the reason for the delay to the whole package. We would urge clarity on these issues as soon as possible so that firms are able to proceed with confidence with their regulatory reform programmes.

You can find the press release here.

The directive amending MiFID can be found here.

The regulation amending MiFIR can be found here.

MiFID II and MiFIR can be obtained at the following websites:



 If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Günther Dobrauz, Michael Taschner or Philipp Rosenauer.