The Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets (SIFEM) is the development finance institution of the Swiss Confederation and a cornerstone of Swiss development cooperation. The purpose and basic mandate are described in the Ordinance on International Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid as well as in the Ordinance on Cooperation with the States of Eastern Europe. SIFEM was established in its current form in 2011 and took over the investment portfolio of SECO (State Secretariat for Economic Affairs) which had been built up since the late 1990s.
Federal Government as sole shareholder
SIFEM AG is a private limited company, the shares of which are 100% owned by the Federal Government. The shareholder rights are exercised by the Federal Council. It defines the strategic objectives for a four-year period. SIFEM is an independent institution in terms of its organisation and management of its business and maintains its own account. The seven-member supervisory board is responsible for implementing the strategic objectives and reporting to the parliamentary oversight bodies. It takes investment decisions within guidelines and towards objectives that are publicly accessible.
Management in Partnerships
SIFEM has delegated business services management and portfolio management to two specialized partner companies. This organizational setup ensures good governance and efficient and effective operations. Tameo Impact Fund Solutions SA has been appointed the business services manager in 2022 for a five-year period. Obviam AG acts as the portfolio manager ad interim until responsAbility Investments AG assumes full responsibility as portfolio manager on 1st March 2023. The partner companies work closely with the supervisory board to deliver on SIFEM’s goals and duties.
Supervision by SECO
Acting on behalf of the federal government, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) conducts regular control and review meetings with the supervisory board accompanied by the partner companies as appropriate. The supervisory function ensures that investments are fully in line with their remit and that federal funds are used purposefully. It is driven by the guidelines governing financial control and risk management and backed by a multi-level supervision model.