Awards

Profile Of Swiss/Liechtenstein Awards Judges - Ray Soudah

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, London, 2 October 2013

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This publication is holding the inaugural Switzerland and
Liechtenstein Awards for outstanding performance, both at the institutional and
individual level, in wealth management. (To view the full details of these
awards, see here.) A crucial part of the process of course is having a panel of
judges with the experience and knowledge to assess the entries.

Here is Ray Soudah, founder of Ray Soudah, which is
an independent international merger and acquisition and corporate finance advisory
firm, based in Switzerland
and the UK.
Founded in 2000, MilleniumAssociates specialises in M&A and advisory
services for the global financial services industry with particular focus on the
global wealth and asset management sectors. Ray has extensive multicultural,
multilingual wealth management and private banking/investment banking expertise
having held senior positions with SBC/UBS, Cedel Bank, the National Bank of
Bahrain, Midland Montagu Investment Banking, Midland Montagu Securities and
Citigroup, working in territories as diverse as the US, Asia, Middle East and
Europe.

So, what does he think is important for the industry?

"Switzerland
and Liechtenstein
are no longer to be considered as a single market or centre. Although much
smaller in aggregate, the relative size of the wealth industry in Liechtenstein
is far greater than its Swiss counterpart and more importantly, unlike
Switzerland, it  has settled more rapidly most of the pressing legacy
issues of tax transparency and international agreements are in place for most
institutions inter alia, the centre
itself,” he said.

“Much effort has been exerted to reposition the image of the
industry and I am much more optimistic that a cleaner and leaner professional
image and market practice has emerged with a greater optimism than ever since
the onset of the financial crisis and its consequences. The main challenge therefore
for the institutions will be how they will be able to grow their asset
gathering machinery from the  key wealth
regions of the world in both private client and institutional asset management
segments, the latter becoming more important with time,” he continued.

“As for Switzerland, the immediate `US penalty’ crisis and
its consequences may hit smaller firms harder than the larger ones  and will result in a significant erosion of
the aggregate capital of Swiss private banks, with many smaller ones being
forced to recapitalise or close down. This development coupled with the need to
introduce `tax efficient’ products and funds for the European Union clientele
as well as regulatory constraints on cross border banking will favour the
larger firms financially but the ability to raise new assets in compensation
will remain the differentiator between the survivors and the `prosperors’, the
latter being the larger ones with international networks. In the end, decent
investment performance and solid balance sheets will distinguish the winners,”
he concluded.

 

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