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WealthBriefing, Coutts Launch New Study On Switzerland's Independent Asset Managers

Wendy Spires, Head of Research, Group Deputy Editor, London, 7 August 2013

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WealthBriefing and Coutts have joined forces to shine a light on Swiss independent asset managers – an important, yet under-researched, sector which now stands at a crossroads in its development.

WealthBriefing and Coutts have joined forces to shine a light on Swiss independent asset managers – an important, yet under-researched, sector which now stands at a crossroads in its development.

It may surprise readers to learn that there are around 2,500 independent asset managers in Switzerland and that its financial cities are peppered with small operations averaging just three staff. What is more, a significant chunk of these asset managers are what we might term “one man bands” and therefore there is a real dearth of sector-wide insight on these small but far from insignificant players.  

WealthBriefing, in conjunction with Coutts, has begun an new research project which aims to “take the temperature” of the independent Swiss asset management sector, uncover prevailing sentiment from those on the front line and assess how the industry is likely to evolve. Among the topics addressed by this study will be: the impact of new regulation on Swiss independent asset managers’ business models; how firms are using technology to enhance profitability; the relationship between service providers like banks and independent asset managers; and asset managers’ confidence levels for prospects of their sector and for Switzerland as a whole.  

Despite their typically small size, independent asset managers are an incredibly important part of Switzerland’s financial services industry. Due to their perceived independence and alignment of interests with their clients, independent Swiss asset managers enjoy the loyalty and trust of a diverse client base. Meanwhile, independent asset managers themselves are vigorously courted by banks and others wishing to provide the back-office and custody services which allow these small firms to compete for wallet share with far bigger institutions. (Firms are often said to have opted for a “bank in a box” in such scenarios.) Swiss independent asset managers therefore represent an interesting case in that they stand as competitors and potential clients for many big banks.        

WealthBriefing will be surveying Swiss independent asset managers over the next month and will then analyse this data in a dedicated research report to be released in the autumn. The findings of the study will also be the topic of an exclusive launch event to be held at the Baur au Lac Hotel in Zurich. Attendance at this event is free as part of WealthBriefing member benefits, as is access to the report; respondents to the survey will however obtain priority access to a PDF of the report ahead of its official launch as thanks for their participation. One of the aims of the study is to help Switzerland’s independent asset managers gauge where their firm stands in the competitive landscape, and so we would like to encourage as many participants as possible to take part in our short survey, which can be found here, and we are looking forward to learning more about your business and views.

For the English version of the survey, click here.

For the French version of the survey, click here.

For the German version of the survey, click here.

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