As the Swiss financial centre adjusts to the loss of banking secrecy and possible fallout from Brexit, a report highlights increased investment management as the sector's cornerstone.
The report, released on Thursdayexternal link by the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), outlines the emergence of investment management – the “management of investments for institutional and private clients” – as a key component of the Swiss financial centre.
Revenues in the industry climbed from CHF17 billion ($17.12 billion) to CHF20 billion between 2016 and 2017, the report states. This represents around one-quarter of all revenues generated in the financial industry over the period.
Overall, in 2017, a total of CHF3.4 trillion in assets were managed in Switzerland, around one-third of which belonged to foreign clients.
Switzerland is the world’s largest financial centre for cross-border wealth management, the report’s authors state, and is one of the leading European asset management hubs.
Factors contributing to this success include “structured investment advisory processes” and the country’s “tradition and experience in investment management”, said Daniel Kessler, Managing Partner of BCG Switzerland, in a press release.
However, the report also finds that competition, regulation, and new technologies are increasing pressure in the sector, particularly on mid-market players.
“Sustainable competitive advantages will in future come primarily from larger volumes or non-replicable niche products,” it says.
As for Switzerland, the SBA and BCG recommend that it safeguard its “locational advantages” (stable politics, liberal economy, access to foreign expertise) through a solid regulatory framework. Specifically, they call for a removal of “tax obstacles”, including stamp duty, and a reform of the withholding tax system.