The online magazine of the Swiss Bankers Association
September 26, 2019


Bankers Day 2019: networking with a vision

Bankers Day 2019: networking with a vision

Bankers Day 2019 in Zurich once again highlighted the fact that networking plays a key role in the banking sector. SBA Chairman Herbert J. Scheidt, who hosted the 400 guests, promoted the idea that smart networks should be built in and out of Switzerland. Jörg Gasser, CEO of the SBA, underscored the importance of improved market access – in particular with a view to sustainable investments.

In his Chairman’s address, Herbert J. Scheidt highlighted the importance of stability and security to the 400 guests at the event held at Aura, in Zurich. These characteristics set Switzerland apart and should be fostered, according to Scheidt. Among other things, he warned of cyber threats, but also pointed to the negative consequences of the ongoing low interest rate policies of the central banks – for example for the three pillars of the Swiss pension system. The Chairman of the SBA called for a constructive dialogue on this front.

Switzerland’s stability in an interconnected world was also a central theme in Federal Counsellor Alain Berset’s welcome address: “We are working hard on our dullness,” said Berset with a twinkle in his eye. Political author and influencer Parag Khanna brought an external view of Switzerland to Bankers Day: small nations serve as role models in an interconnected world, he said. When defining power, it is no longer the size of the country that counts, but rather its interconnectedness, he added.

Panel discussion with high-calibre participants

Jörg Gasser, CEO of the SBA, attested to Switzerland’s high level of interconnectedness, which he said should be actively developed. During a panel discussion led by political philosopher Katja Gentinetta about the importance of interconnectedness for banking, Jörg Gasser said that Switzerland has the potential to take on a leading international role, for example in the sustainable investments segment. However, in order to do so, international market access must be improved, said the CEO of the SBA. Distinguished guests State Secretary Daniela Stoffel (SIF), Annika Falkengren (Managing Partner at Lombard Odier), Professor Jan-Egbert Sturm (Director of the KOF Swiss Economic Institute at ETH Zurich) and former Swiss ambassador to the US, Martin Dahinden went on to discuss the financial centre and its role in a globalised world.

Afterwards, publicist and communications expert Miriam Meckel presented an unusual view of the interconnected future, putting forward the idea that the brain is likely to be the next frontier to be conquered. Among other things, Miriam Meckel outlined the conflict that could arise between technological possibilities and ethical questions.

Recognition of the banking apprenticeship graduates with highest grades

At the Annual General Meeting, which this year was held prior to the public segment of Bankers Day, the Board of Directors was confirmed for the 2019 to 2022 term of office and three new members were elected.

  • Alexander Classen, CEO and Country Manager Switzerland, HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) SA, Geneva
  • Guy Lachappelle, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Raiffeisen Schweiz Genossenschaft, St. Gallen
  • Philipp Rickenbacher, Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Executive Boards, Julius Baer Group Ltd. and Bank Julius Baer & Co. Ltd., Zurich

Long-standing former CEO of the SBA Claude-Alain Margelisch was formally thanked for his contributions by SBA Chairman Herbert J. Scheidt at Bankers Day. As is customary at Bankers Day, the banking apprenticeship graduates with the highest grades in 2019 were once again recognised for their achievement