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Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

Caroline Clemetson

Caroline Clemetson

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Thought Leader

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Caroline Clemetson is commended for her wealth of experience in the asset management space, an area in which sources note she is “extremely knowledgeable and effective”.

Questions & Answers

Caroline Clemetson is a partner in Schellenberg Wittmer’s banking and finance group in Zurich and Geneva. She is head of the investment management practice of the firm and a key partner in the fintech and blockchain practice, as well as a member of the firm’s management committee. Caroline’s practice focuses on banking and finance law, particularly financial services and financial regulation; asset management; collective investment schemes and other investment products; distribution of financial products; fintech; derivatives; trade finance; pension funds; and insurance and reinsurance brokerage regulation. Caroline is also very experienced in corporate and transactional matters.

What do you enjoy most about working in the investment management space?

The investment management environment is very dynamic and full of talented people who are entrepreneurs and very creative. It is always very inspiring, motivating and challenging to work in this environment.

As head of the firm’s investment management group, how do you ensure it maintains a leading position in such a competitive legal market?

The basis for this is excellent technical know-how in this area of business and a talented team. With these prerequisites, the key is then to be able to think outside the box, stay pragmatic, and be able to create value for your clients with a no-nonsense approach that remains very close to the business.

How does your background as head of the investment products and distribution department at FINMA enhance your current practice?

The 10 years’ experience I had with FINMA, including during the financial crisis, was of extreme importance – not only from a technical and a know-how point of view, but also because you still can think like a regulator (because you were one), while simultaneously protecting investors with entrepreneurship and creating value.

What impact is new technology having on the investment management market in Switzerland?

New technology enables efficient processes and will have a significant impact on the investment management market, as in particular some of the processes can be automated and blockchain technology can be used more and more.

As a member of the firm’s management committee, what are your priorities for its development over the next five years?

One of the big challenges for the management committee is to always think a step ahead, to adapt to the environment our clients face. Our priorities are to think ahead and to have the best technologies to serve our clients best.

Another priority is diversity. In comparison to other firms in Switzerland, we are ahead in regards to having a higher ratio of women in management positions, and have proactively implemented different measures that have so far been very effective.

In this respect, we are clearly a leader in the Swiss market, and our efforts are ongoing.

How is the generational shift changing legal practice at your firm? What do younger lawyers do differently?

Schellenberg Wittmer has been able, in the past few years, to put in place generational shifts, with lawyers in their forties joining the management of the firm and developing, while the “older” generation are still there. This enables efficient succession planning and overall firm development.

We also have the younger generation of millennials who have been raised with technology, and who can push the firm ahead in the use of different digital tools and technology. The use of legaltech is at the centre of our firm’s future success.

How do you anticipate the Swiss legal market changing in the next five years? How might this affect your practice?

The Swiss legal market will be changing due to new technologies. However, commodity work still has to be standardised, with the use of senior lawyers required for the highly complex work. Schellenberg Wittmer is ahead in this respect, as we have an entity called FlexLaw for commodity work to meet clients’ demands.

What advice would you give younger lawyers looking to pursue a career in investment management law?

To be successful in investment management law, you first need to think like the industry, and to understand the added value it brings to clients to have the right mindset for this type of activity.

Second, you need excellent know-how of the financial industry, and its products and instruments, to be able to give the right advice and implement it accordingly.

Global Leader

Private Funds - Formation 2019

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Caroline Clemetson is "a very knowledgeable and effective lawyer" who enjoys an excellent reputation for fund formation mandates.

Biography

Caroline Clemetson is head of Schellenberg Wittmer's banking and finance and investment funds group in Geneva and is also an active partner in the banking and finance group in Zurich. Her focus is on banking and finance law, in particular, financial services and financial regulation, asset management, collective investment schemes and other investment products, distribution of financial products, derivatives, trade finance, pension funds as well as insurance and insurance brokerage regulation. Caroline also has extensive experience in corporate and transactional matters.

Some recent examples of Caroline's expertise in investment management include: counsel to a major Swiss fund management company for the set-up of a new Swiss Mortgage Fund, which has been described as one of the most innovative products in the market in the past five years; advising several fund managers on obtaining their FINMA license as fund manager in Switzerland and implementing their new organisation, including the set-up of their compliance and risk management strategies as well as the implementation of the new anti-money laundering regulation; and counsel to several major fund management companies for the set-up of complex Swiss products (several billion of AuM).

Caroline is highly recognised by leading directories and publications for her expertise in investment management and banking. Chambers and Partners quotes "impressed clients" who say that "Caroline Clemetson has 'outstanding expertise in all matters related to Swiss-regulated fund management' and clients stress that Caroline 'knows the Swiss financial regulations inside-out, knows how to work with FINMA and it has been a pleasure working with her'”. Who's Who Legal additionally comments that "Caroline is incredibly knowledgeable and is clearly well versed in handling investment funds".

Caroline is an authorised representative at the SIX Swiss Exchange and is a member of the legal and compliance specialist committee of the Swiss Funds and Asset Management Association (SFAMA). She is the secretary of the executive board of the Swiss Trading and Shipping Association (STSA).

Caroline graduated from the Universities of Lausanne and Zurich in 2001 and was admitted to the Swiss Bar in 2003. In 2006, she earned an LLM from Columbia University, New York after working for several years at another business law firm in Geneva.

Before joining Schellenberg Wittmer as a partner in 2014, Caroline worked for the Swiss Financial Markets Supervisory Authority (FINMA) (2006–2014), where she was head of the investment products and distribution department within the markets division. In that function, she was responsible for the entire approval and authorisation processes for all types of Swiss and foreign collective investment schemes and related institutions, such as fund management companies, asset managers, custodian banks, representatives of foreign collective investment schemes and distributors in Switzerland. Additionally, she was responsible for all aspects of distribution in Switzerland and the registration of insurance brokers in Switzerland and related issues.

National Leader

Switzerland - Banking 2019

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Caroline Clemetson gains recognition for her first-rate banking and finance practice, and is highlighted by sources, one of whom notes she has “impressive know-how of the asset management space like hardly anyone else in Switzerland”.

Biography

Caroline Clemetson is head of Schellenberg Wittmer's banking and finance, and investment management groups in Geneva, and partner in the banking and finance group in Zurich. She focuses on banking and finance law, and insurance and insurance brokerage regulation. Caroline also has experience in corporate and transactional matters.

Some examples of Caroline's expertise include counsel to a major Swiss fund management company for the set-up of a new Swiss Mortgage Fund; advising fund managers on obtaining their FINMA licence as fund manager in Switzerland and implementing their new organization; and counsel to major fund management companies for the set-up of complex Swiss products.

Caroline is an authorised representative at the SIX Swiss Exchange, member of the legal and compliance specialist committee of the Swiss Funds and Asset Management Association and secretary of the executive board of the Swiss Trading and Shipping Association.

Caroline graduated from the Universities of Lausanne and Zurich in 2001 and was admitted to the Swiss Bar in 2003. In 2006, she earned an LLM from Columbia University.

Before joining Schellenberg Wittmer as a partner in 2014, Caroline worked for the Swiss Financial Markets Supervisory Authority for several years in a senior management position.

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Caroline Clemetson is commended for her wealth of experience in the asset management space, an area in which sources note she is “extremely knowledgeable and effective”.

Biography

Caroline Clemetson is head of Schellenberg Wittmer's banking and finance, and investment funds groups in Geneva, and partner in the banking and finance group in Zurich. She focuses on banking and finance law, and insurance and insurance brokerage regulation. Caroline also has experience in corporate and transactional matters.

Some examples of Caroline's expertise include counsel to a major Swiss fund management company for the set-up of a new Swiss Mortgage Fund; advising fund managers on obtaining their FINMA licence as fund manager in Switzerland and implementing their new organization; and counsel to major fund management companies for the set-up of complex Swiss products.

Caroline is an authorised representative at the SIX Swiss Exchange, member of the legal and compliance specialist committee of the Swiss Funds and Asset Management Association and secretary of the executive board of the Swiss Trading and Shipping Association.

Caroline graduated from the Universities of Lausanne and Zurich in 2001 and was admitted to the Swiss Bar in 2003. In 2006, she earned an LLM from Columbia University.

Before joining Schellenberg Wittmer as a partner in 2014, Caroline worked for the Swiss Financial Markets Supervisory Authority.

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