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Alternative Market Briefing

Better asset management solutions could help support Swiss private banking in future

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva:

For Swiss private banks, the last few years have been characterized by high volatility, low interest rates, a strong Swiss franc and reduced earnings, according to KPMG, a global audit firm. These features along with a marked increase in regulatory costs have put margins under enormous pressure and are forcing banks to develop sustainable growth strategies.

Swiss allocators and fund managers at the recent Opalesque Geneva Roundtable discussed the state of Swiss private banking (as well as assets going through Swiss banks to hedge funds) and reached similar conclusions. Swiss private banks, which already have a strong focus on asset management, are not seeing as much inflows as before (or as much fee income according to some), and this headwind could be compensated with better asset management solutions, better risk measures and more transparency. It was also said that, after Madoff, many private clients are no longer willing to invest in hedge funds - or anything else for that matter, and that U.S. investors are no longer making the Swiss pilgrimage.

A 2012 survey conducted by KPMG and St. Gallen University, according to an article in Swiss daily Le Temps yesterday, says that current pressures on bank secrecy and more complex ......................

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