Short summaries of panelists' speeches

DAY I: September 17th 2012

Dr Mario A. Bassi, Head Asia, Solution Providers Singapore Pte. Ltd. and Vice Chairman Swiss Business Assciation Singapore (SGP)

Crises bring up novel opportunities: The time has come to upgrade services and service delivery in alignment with regulatory demands.

Sebastian Dovey, Managing Partner, Scorpio Partnership (GB)

Technology in specific may provide a way for private banks to engage with financial advice differently than it is delivered today, and to surmount the challenges of rising costs, falling revenues, higher competition, and flattened Net New Money.

Stephen Richards Evans, Head of Private Bank Europe, Middle East, Africa, Standard Chartered Private Bank (UAE)

Factors of future success for private banks include providing a clear differentiating value proposition in terms of a focused strategy and high-quality service levels. Empowering clients with the digital technology is an option that addresses changing client needs towards higher levels of information and enhanced customer experience. Relationship managers will increasingly have to act as enablers and mobilizers of different information channels. Given the dramatic cost increase of doing business in the industry, striving for economies of scale is a must, not an option: Private banks need to collaborate and mobilize other parts of the bank to maximize value creation.

Joao Albino Winkelmann, Head Director of Bradesco Private Bank (BR)

Despite the sometimes troubling economic environment, the Brazilian market is a high growth market for wealth management. Increasingly, multi-family offices are growing, while global and large multinational banks will still prevail. Private banking is becoming a domestic operation in most Latin American countries.

Rolf Bögli, Managing Director, COO Private Banking, Credit Suisse (CH)

The requirements imposed on private banks in the cross-border business are such that scale will be a necessity combined with a focus on targeted markets or dedicated client segments. There is no leeway with regulatory requirements. Given the resulting rising costs, there is a continuous concern for effectiveness and efficiency: private banks need to review their presence critically from a profitability viewpoint.

Steffen Binder, MyPrivateBanking GmbH (CH)

The strategic role of mobile technology for retaining and gaining new client potentials by unleashing their smartphones is currently still under-estimated. A successful mobile technology strategy calls for a focused and long-term perspective integrating customer feedback with regular updates over time.

Panel discussion:

Lyubomir Georgiev, Senior Associate, Baker & McKenzie (CH)
Philip Marcovici, retired from the practice of law, provides business and related consulting services (HK)
Dr Katja Gey, Director, Office for International Financial Affairs, Government of Liechtenstein (FL)
Tracey L. Reddings, Chairman of Private Banking Committee, British Bankers Association and CEO UK Private Wealth Management, J.P. Morgan Private Bank (GB)
Dr Renate Schwob, Head of the Financial Market Switzerland, Deputy CEO of the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) (CH)
Dr Urs Zulauf, General Counsel, Member of the Management Board FINMA (CH)

External pressures for change have reached a peak, yet, some private banks still are in a phase of denial: ‘For too long the private banking industry has had the hat in the sand.’ In turn, much may be gained by individual banks from strategically embracing regulatory requirements as business opportunities, and more generally from taking the stock forward and engaging in global leadership to reinvent the Swiss Private banking industry.

However, this requires an important change in attitude: ‘Looking into the future rather than protecting the past.’ While outflows of untaxed assets, decreasing margins and higher pressure on costs will not be an exception, at the same time, major opportunities pop up for a focus on scale, on specific markets or segments, and on decreasing costs through outsourcing. Capturing these opportunities is a difficult task in ‘a colorful landscape with sometimes different interests that are not always aligned’, unless the collective effort of bundling interests is recognized to be beneficial for the Swiss Private Banking industry as a whole.

Sinikka Demaré, CFA, Director, Ortec Finance

Goal-based advisory offers the potential for differentiation by putting the clients at the center and separating their ability and willingness to take risks in their investment decisions.

Dr Anja Hochberg, Managing Director, Head of Investment Strategy, Asset Management Division, Credit Suisse (CH)

The good news is that there is much wealth; yet it has to be managed differently – in a way that accounts for clients’ changing needs in line with the current economic and regulatory developments.

Dr Adrian Künzi, CEO Notenstein (CH)

The change strategy at Notenstein included four main pillars: (1) a clear communication strategy that was substantiated by (2) a redefined identity, (3) macroeconomic scenario analyses, and on top of all (4) efforts at sustaining employee satisfaction and motivation.

DAY II: September 18th 2012

Ian Ewart, Managing Director, Global Head of Product, Services & Marketing, Coutts (UK)

Regulatory requirements are often perceived as a threat. In turn, moving from a threat towards an opportunity mindset enables private banks to seize potential business opportunities resulting from these changes more rapidly. In a field in search for social legitimacy, regulation may provide ‘the railway lines’ – a shared set of rules and principles that each private bank relies on to redefine their business. At Coutts, this potential has been recognized by shifting the organizational paradigm from one based on heritage, trust and security towards one based on integrity, relevance and transparency along each step of the value creation process.

Andrea Lacalamita, Global Head of Products and Marketing, UniCredit Private Banking (I)

UniCredit based on a number of recent product innovations (e.g. MyGlobe, UniCreditGreen, and More) has actively managed to close the gap between the bank’s and the clients’ understandings of successful wealth management.

Ray Soudah, Founder and CEO, Millennium Associates (CH)

It is time for Swiss private banks to stop waiting and to take action. The core question surrounds whether a private bank is able to continuously lower its cost base, to grow in an affordable way in the domestic market, in the international market or otherwise to exit business.

Tracey L. Reddings, Chairman of Private Banking Committee, British Bankers Association and CEO UK Private Wealth Management, J.P. Morgan Private Bank (GB)

Both countries -the UK and Switzerland- face asymmetric threats, in terms of the size of their big banks relative to their economies, their efforts at maintaining competitive currencies, a safe haven status while having the Euro area as biggest trading partner, finally in terms of the legal challenges to their banks from the United States. Another driver of change will be how the two countries address the competition from the emerging centers. To address these concerns, three major points cannot remain unnoticed. First, the coherence between major regions and financial centers needs higher emphasis instead of a fragmented approach to tackling the same issues around the local environment and political imperatives. Second, the relationship between regulatory changes and their impact on the real economy lies somewhere in-between of what is often portrayed in terms of polar ends. Third, this calls for an open debate. Regulations need to come to an end and authorities need to play their part to make their banks more attractive to investors. In conclusion, for many, the new normal will look significantly different to the old normal.

Alan Durrant, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, (UAE)

As a response to the question of whether the Gulf will gradually challenge Swiss and more generally Western private banking centers, the answer is ‘no’ in the short term and ‘perhaps’ in the long term. Already today, the Gulf offers a range of benefits that are perceived as safe from a financial perspective by a range of clients.

Fritz Kaiser, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, Kaiser Partner Holding Anstalt (FL), Member of the World Economic Forum (FL)

Knowing the drivers of global change to be able to make better decisions today is just as important as tackling the question of how clients can gain a better understanding about what happens and whom to trust.

Panel Discussion:

Ian Ewart, Managing Director, Global Head of Product, Services & Marketing, Coutts (UK)
Salman Mahdi, Managing Director, Global Head of Key Clients, Member of the PWM Executive Committee, Deutsche Bank, London (GB)
Dr. Stephan A. Zwahlen, Deputy CEO, Maerki Bauman & Co. Ltd. – Private Bank (CH)

Leadership has a largely automatic and intuitive component, at the same time it requires to view things from multiple perspectives, to be able to deal with ambiguity and complexity inherent in dynamic environments. Associative work environments and continuously questioning how decisions are made in organizations are the means to generate room for ideas and counterpoints. It is thus as much an intellectual challenge as it is one of change management on a daily basis.

Jeremy Marshall, CEO, Hoare & Cie. (GB)

Small is beautiful, large is not ugly. Small banks equally have a future. The core of their strategy is to keep it simple by outsourcing non-core activities, and knowing what to do, what not to do.

Jean-Claude Favre, COO, Crédit Agricole Private Banking Services (CH)

As a BPO provider since 1994, Crédit Agricole has soon recognized the potential of pooling development costs, providing regular updates, and specialists at front- and back-ends. As a private bank and service provider, it knows and continuously develops services that are tied to private banking needs.

Tilmann Spohr, Managing Director, XVISORY (CH)

A systematic approach to ‘client experience management’ is a key success factor in contexts where social legitimacy needs to be rebuilt. More specifically, empirical research highlights that the main drivers of client satisfaction are frequency of interactions, initiative-taking, a team-based approach and the quality of advice. Private banks may therefore reconsider the strategic role of relationship managers given the requirements of today’s environment.

Markus Tanner, PhD, Global Head of Education Wealth Management, UBS (CH)
Laura Huntley, MA, Head of Education Wealth Management, Europe, UBS (CH)

The training of customer relationship managers needs to embrace a holistic approach that moves beyond core skills in relationship, account and investment management, and considers broader dimensions of an entrepreneurial mindset. A successful approach at UBS therefore covers a wide range of in-house screening and training activities from personality profiling to learning on the job.

Michael Stanhope, CEO, Hubbis (HK)

Training relationship managers is key to increase employee knowledge and company innovation. Key success factors embrace online platforms that enable the creation of personalized learning environments, the settlement of clear learning targets that are connected to incentives and cannot go without the commitment of senior management.

Victoria Dalmas, CEO, LawInContext Pte. Ltd. (CH)

Recognizing compliance as business opportunity at a strategic level proves a crucial step forward. The specific approach advanced here is to use online legal, tax and compliance information skillfully in the crafting of a distinct value proposition and to convince clients that the bank is in line with the increasing regulatory demands. To reach that aim it is necessary to include legal, tax and compliance information within learning and development programs.