Swiss hedge fund industry to grow as crisis bites

Reuters UK – Switzerland’s fledgling hedge fund industry is set for strong growth in the coming years as the credit crisis forces the industry to focus on lower-cost centres and the country aims to lure managers back from London.

Lower living costs, as well as better personal tax rates than London in some cantons, improving tax terms for fund firms and a high quality of life are carrots Switzerland is dangling in front of continental European managers based in London.

And as the credit crisis and huge market volatility decimate returns in the hedge fund industry, Switzerland looks set to benefit as managers facing fee pressure and outflows look for cheaper places to relocate to in order to survive.

"London is still dominant, but we’re seeing some activity (new funds) in Geneva," said Mark Lewis, senior investment funds partner at Cayman Islands-based law firm Walkers Global.

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