Wealth Management: Winning transformation strategies for a decade of major change

Swiss Financial Services in 2030

Swiss wealth management (WM) has a long, proud tradition and has demonstrated overwhelming long-term success. The recent past, however, has been more challenging, as Swiss private banks (PBs) face regulatory obstacles to offshore banking and corresponding pressure on margins. Profitability levels have been below expectations despite a decade-long bull market, and potential growth opportunities in the traditional offshore business now seem limited.

Looking towards the next decade, these underlying challenges remain and new drivers of change will shape the WM industry of the future. New competitors are on the cusp of disrupting the industry with entirely new offerings, catering to the needs of a new generation of WM clients, as millennials enter their prime earning years. Hyper-customised products will become increasingly common, enabled by IT as a differentiator and the growth of platform-based services (such as SaaS, PaaS, cloud, etc.). The competitive advantage of Switzerland as a banking hub could therefore decline, making modernisation of the sector’s business models and of the regulatory regime, including Swiss bank secrecy, imperative as a catalyst to spur innovation and efficiency.

Five winning transformation strategies

We have identified five winning transformation strategies as 'no-regret moves' for forward-looking PBs that will set them up for success in the future – irrespective of the overall direction of the WM industry:

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