Switzerland occupies a unique position in the global funds industry because it's a thriving European financial centre outside the EU umbrella. As technologies advance and with existing investment firms dominating the industry, new firms entering the market will need to find unique and innovative ways of operating if they are to succeed. According to a report from Deloitte, new investment management firms are “targeting millennials”. The key to attracting these individuals is peer-to-peer interaction, low cost, transparency, and thematic investing, including social impact.
To successfully serve millennials, who are soon to be the largest client group for financial institutions, many asset and wealth managers are assessing their business models and creating funds that are socially and environmentally responsible to appeal to this demographic. However, a survey by Natixis found that only 20% of millennials in Switzerland say they prefer digital advice, compared to 62% of respondents from Canada – meaning many Swiss people in this demographic prefer person-to-person contact over digital advice services.
Peter Lingen, who is currently rated the top asset manager in Switzerland and manages the Pictet Robotics fund - a fund with almost $6bn in assets, while speaking about robotics in investments said: 'We get a lot of questions about the quantum of flows that have come into the fund. I do not believe that the robotics theme is a bubble, as the technology trends which underpin it are so transformational. It touches all of us as individuals through our own personal tech interests, from questions over whether or not robots are going to take over all of our jobs to the ways in which robotics will improve our quality of life.”
UBS, an established management firm is also trying their hand at technology, partnering with Amazon to provide investment advice through their virtual voice activated assistant Alexa. With so many different financial products and a growing need for people with in-depth knowledge of geographic regions, most industry analysts expect strong employment growth in investment management to continue midway into the next decade.
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