SwissBanking
The online magazine of the Swiss Bankers Association
June 28, 2018

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Asset Management Platform Switzerland picking up speed

Asset Management Platform Switzerland picking up speed

The Asset Management Platform Switzerland, which was founded in 2017, is starting to gain momentum. In an interview, Iwan Deplazes and Lorenz Arnet talk about how the platform is set up and where its focus will lie in the coming years.

Iwan Deplazes is Chairman of the Asset Management Platform Switzerland and Head of Asset Management Swisscanto Invest by Zürcher Kantonalbank. Lorenz Arnet is CEO of the Asset Management Platform Switzerland and Senior Counsel at the Swiss Funds & Asset Management Association SFAMA. They talk about the Asset Management Platform’s key areas of focus for the near term.

insight: What led to the decision to replace the Asset Management Initiative launched five years ago with a permanent platform?

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Iwan Deplazes, Chairman Asset Management Platform Switzerland
Iwan Deplazes: The Asset Management Initiative that was started five years ago resolutely addressed a number of important issues such as market access. It is thanks to the groundwork it accomplished that asset management is now so high on the Federal Department of Finance’s list of priorities. In order to reinforce this, we decided to institutionalise the set-up under new management in the form of a permanent platform.

 

 

 

insight: Which objectives does the Asset Management Platform Switzerland pursue?

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Lorenz Arnet, CEO Asset Management Platform Switzerland
Lorenz Arnet: Our vision is to develop Switzerland into a leading location for asset management. This is an ambitious goal, but we are not starting from zero. Switzerland is already the fourth-largest location in Europe and many Switzerland-based asset managers are also very successful internationally. We want asset management services production in Switzerland to grow further, both for domestic and foreign customers.

 

 

 

How is the Asset Management Platform organised?

Iwan Deplazes: The Asset Management Platform is supported by the Swiss Funds & Asset Management Association SFAMA, the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) and the Swiss Insurance Association. We have an effective steering committee composed of C-level executives from leading asset managers based in Switzerland as well as the associations mentioned previously. We also have a sounding board made up of C-level executives from leading pension funds, associations and government authorities. The entire asset management industry is represented in our set-up, not just the providers.

Which areas will you be focusing your activities on in the coming years? What kind of milestones are planned?

Lorenz Arnet: In the coming years, we will be focusing on Switzerland and on measures that we can undertake ourselves to have an impact. A first milestone is our public presence in the form of the website we just recently launched. We also recently published the first comprehensive study about asset management in Switzerland, which will highlight to a broader public the size, importance, structure and the relevant providers in Swiss asset management. We have been organising our own event series, the «Asset Management Greenhouse Events», for over a year now. Starting in 2019, we plan to hold a bigger, annual event to increase awareness of asset management beyond the financial sector. We are also working on compiling detailed figures and statistics about asset management in Switzerland over the next few years in order to substantiate the importance of the industry.

Where will Swiss asset management be in five years?

Lorenz Arnet: Ideally, asset managers in Switzerland will have direct access to the EU market in five years and can use this to provide their broad range of services directly out of Switzerland to institutional investors in the EU. Technological advancements will continue to change the asset management industry in the coming years – for example through blockchain solutions in fund administration and sales. Switzerland is well-positioned in this area. We hope that we can continue to count on the support of the government and the authorities so that Switzerland can develop into an even more attractive location for asset management in the years to come.