Bloomberg Anywhere Login

Bloomberg

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Company

Financial Products

Enterprise Products

Media

Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Communications

Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Swiss Banks Focus on Risk as Clients Seek Security, Odier Says

Oct. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Swiss private banks are focusing on risk management as wealthy clients seek safer investments amid Europe’s debt crisis, according to Patrick Odier, chairman of the Swiss Bankers Association.

“Risk appetite has become core to the private banking service again,” Odier said in an interview on the sidelines of the Invest12 conference in Geneva. “There’s a trend toward security and safety which means the more transparent and less esoteric products are favored, in contrast to those that are the most attractive for a short-term investment return.”

Clients of UBS AG, Switzerland’s largest bank, are “paralyzed” by their fear of losing wealth in volatile financial markets, Sergio Ermotti, the Zurich-based firm’s chief executive officer, said July 31. The renewed focus on risk comes as the erosion of Swiss banking secrecy makes investment returns a key benchmark for wealth managers such as UBS and Credit Suisse Group AG.

Private banking is going through major change that requires “continuing innovation in the field of portfolio management,” said Odier, who is senior managing partner of Lombard Odier & Cie, Geneva’s oldest bank.

Private bankers need to learn to “budget” for the risk clients are willing to take and design absolute return portfolios, he said. That type of portfolio measures gains and losses over a given period rather than comparing their performance with a particular benchmark.

To contact the reporter on this story: Giles Broom in Geneva at gbroom@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.