A common language is not enough
Sharing a mother tongue is very helpful when it comes to distribution—after all, we feel most comfortable when discussing business in our own language. This creates a sense of belonging in a market where competition is truly international and industry leaders in many segments from “abroad” (in particular the UK and the US) enter the market.
From our experience, language seems to be a key driver when establishing sales teams, in particular in the German-speaking region that covers Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. Unfortunately, a shared language does not mean shared laws and regulations. That is particularly relevant when it comes to Switzerland, so far continuing to resist the temptation of joining the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA), at least for the near future. From a business perspective, the temptation would certainly be great in many regards. Asset management serves as a particularly striking example. With the introduction of the UCITS and AIFM directives, a single market with mostly harmonized, but at least similar standards has been established, which facilitates crossborder distribution activities. Germany and Austria as EU member states, and Liechtenstein as an EEA member state, are able to benefit in many ways from the potential that the aforementioned directives offer.
Performance magazine issue 19, January 2016
Performance is a triannual digest, dedicated to investment management professionals, which brings you the latest articles, news and market developments from Deloitte’s professionals and clients.