Yves Mirabaud, a senior partner at the eponymous Genevan wealth manager, Mirabaud Group, was the former president of Geneva’s Jewish community before becoming a Swiss national. He lectures and speaks on finance topics, notably to young people and members of the NGO sector on topics such as sustainable management and responsible investing. Here, he discusses the evolution of private banking in Switzerland.
Swiss private banking has long enjoyed a reputation as an industry that provides financial advice and financial services to a wealthy clientele, excellently served by upmarket professionals. Which aspects of this modus operandi need to change?
Private banking is a business; it must adapt to changing times like others. When Yves Mirabaud started in the banking sector, they worked on a handwritten basis. Paper was expensive, and so was the time it took to send documents back and forth. Today, everything is electronic, bringing down costs and shortening response times to a fraction of what they used to be.
As for advice, the industry is going through a crisis of its own making. It has always relied heavily on advice, but now it is putting more and more emphasis on investment management leading to conflicts of interest. People will always need advice, but it should be a means to an end, not an end. Yves Mirabaud advises his clients to concentrate on their priorities, not only on the future but also on today.
He also warns that it is becoming increasingly difficult for wealth managers to differentiate themselves in a sector where technology is rapidly changing game rules. In addition, there are more and more players in what used to be a very exclusive market.
The changing role of private bankers, who have lately become seen as investment managers and advisers, is also a cause for concern. If the client relationship is no longer what it used to be, then it is unclear how they will continue to justify their existence.
The private banker must find solutions to people’s needs and not only look for answers. They need to seek solutions for the client actively. See this article for additional information.
More about Mirabaud on https://www.mirabaud-libre-passage.com/de/freizuegigkeitsstiftung/governance