Summit Notebook

from Blogs Dashboard:

Count on it: in three generations your rich client will be poor

October 6, 2009

It turns out that advisers to ultra-rich aren’t always so flush themselves. So, what happens, if, say, you spend a day on your client’s fancy yacht, then go back to your own tiny dinghy?

Private Bank finds synergy in public bar

October 6, 2009

It is a little known fact that private bank Wegelin, Switzerland’s oldest bank is also active in the bars and restaurants business.

Swiss brand key to banks’ cache

October 6, 2009
One question kept coming up when I announced four years ago that I was moving from Washington to Geneva: ”Will you get a Swiss bank account?” There is an unmistakeable international cache surrounding Switzerland’s financial sector, whose infamy as a hiding place for Nazi gold has given way to Hollywood mystique about secretive numeric codes cracked by Da Vinci Code protagonists and James Bond.  But within the small Alpine country, which remains stubbornly outside the European Union despite sharing borders with France, Germany, Austria and Italy, bankers are in fact celebrated for being as dull as they are discrete.  Christian Raubach, managing partner of Switzerland’s oldest bank, Wegelin & Co, told the Reuters Wealth Management Summit that the biggest Swiss banks rely on their “Swissness and security and boringness” to attract clients from abroad. Guillaume Lejoindre, managing director at the Swiss private banking arm of France’s Societe Generale, said it was precisely this reputation that made Switzerland such a powerful financial power, even in an age when total secrecy has been abolished and big institutions like UBS admit to taking big risks akin to those that took down Lehman Brothers.  Droves of Saudi and Gulf banking clients file into Geneva to spend the summer with their families every year and wealthy Latin Americans are also clearly inclined to store their funds in Switzerland to try to make them less likely kidnapping and extortion targets. The strong overall brand means that the banks can charge a premium over other centres and also continue to draw in new funds even in dark economic times.  “What is the price of trust and confidence? What is the price of expertise? We all know that a Hermes bag is more expensive. Is it a problem? I don’t think so,” the Societe Generale executive said.  In this way, much like Swiss watches, Swiss hotels, Swiss chocolate and Swiss beauty creams, the biggest asset even the most endowed Swiss bank has is clearly its brand — which may actually hold more value internationally than at home.

from Blogs Dashboard:

Wealth education: one pretention too much?

October 5, 2009

The ultra wealthy have finally found something that is too pretentious.

 

English-style horseback riding lessons? Fine. Summers split between five different country houses? Also fine. 

No-frills travel is on for private bankers

October 5, 2009

The days of luxury VIP lounges are gone for many private bankers, as the crisis forces them to travel economy to save money.

Private banking: you may be worth it

October 5, 2009

Those who tend to avoid posh restaurants in Geneva’s expensive Rue du Rhone district and famed private banks because they believe they are not rich enough may be given a second chance at century-old wealth manager Julius Baer.

Geneva is for wealth management

October 5, 2009

Even for an American who’s not wealthy, Geneva has a reputation as a global centre for wealth management – the place the world’s rich come to stash their money and (they hope) make it grow.

Welcome to the 2009 Reuters Global Wealth Management Summit

By Reuters Staff
October 5, 2009

A year after the implosion of Lehman Brothers, private banking leaders will gather in Geneva, Boston, Tokyo and Singapore on October 5

Wealth Management: What does the future hold?

October 5, 2009

Even the rich aren’t as well-off as they were a year ago but that’s not stopping the wealth management industry from focusing on what the future of private banking will look like after the economic downturn has passed. Click below to view my latest story:

Politicians get into restructuring

October 1, 2009

It’s a different kind of restructuring business these days, with politicians picking up the phone to try to put their two cents in too, Moelis & Co.’s Thane Carlston said during the Reuters Restructuring Summit.