SWITZERLAND - The head of asset management at BVK - the manager of the Pensionskasse for civil servants in Zürich - has been arrested for alleged misconduct and corruption, the canton's finance department has confirmed. The BVK in Switzerland is in no way connected with the Bayerische Versorgungskammer (also known as BVK) in Munich.

Few details have been made public, but the finance department said the allegations concerned issues dating several years back.

Ursula Gut-Winterberger, member of the regional government, expressed "regret" and "bewilderment" regarding the arrested employee's alleged conduct, but emphasised the employee remained innocent until proven guilty.

While Swiss newspapers refrained from mentioning the name of the arrested management member, a spokesman for the finance department told IPE the public prosecutor had confirmed it was the "head of asset management at BVK".

The finance department said it would co-operate fully with the public prosecutor to ensure a quick and full investigation.

It also confirmed no BVK employees had been suspended.

Christoph Ryter, head of the Swiss pension fund association ASIP, said the BVK had always been a model when it came to control mechanisms.

"There are disclosure requirements in place on employees' private assets, and the BVK has always implemented more than just the minimal standards," he said.

"That is all you can realistically do to prevent these things from happening."

Ryter said that, should the allegations prove true, it would show that no system is 100% fail-safe - or that stricter controlling mechanisms had begun to take effect.

"But we have to wait for the results of the investigations before drawing any conclusions," he added.

Whether the timeframe of the alleged misconduct dates before the introduction of stricter disclosure requirements in 2006 has not been made public.