Tags: tax | wealth | Switzerland | banks

Julius Baer CEO Tells Swiss to Work Harder to Keep Rich Clients

Thursday, 19 Jun 2014 10:17 AM

Swiss bankers need to work harder to fend off competition for the country’s $2.3 trillion of foreign client assets, according to the chief executive officer of Julius Baer Group Ltd., the country’s third-largest wealth manager.

“If we want to maintain the lead, if we want to be the best private banking culture, history, tradition, the players who work are going to have to work really hard,” Boris Collardi, 39, said today at a meeting of the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce in Zurich.

Switzerland has amassed one third of the world’s offshore private wealth and is home to two of the world’s five largest wealth managers, UBS AG and Credit Suisse Group AG. As the nation’s financial secrecy laws crumble amid a move toward a global standard of information exchange between tax authorities, other jurisdictions are eyeing the wealth held in the Alpine country.

“Other financial centers are in competition with us,” Collardi said. “London wants a piece of the cake, Singapore wants a piece of the cake. Now the new one is Panama that wants a piece of the cake.”

Swiss banks that want to survive need to increase their assets under management to help absorb new regulatory costs, diversify their customers beyond traditional western European countries and implement a strict focus on certain markets where they can be successful, according to the CEO.

The proportion of client assets from emerging markets at Julius Baer is approaching 50 percent, with almost one quarter from Asia, Collardi said. For new customers of Swiss banks, “the moral compass has changed” and they no longer expect banks to take assets undeclared to tax authorities, he said.

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Swiss bankers need to work harder to fend off competition for the country's $2.3 trillion of foreign client assets, according to the chief executive officer of Julius Baer Group Ltd., the country's third-largest wealth manager.
tax, wealth, Switzerland, banks
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2014-17-19
Thursday, 19 Jun 2014 10:17 AM
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