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Wealth in Switzerland: HNW Investors; Understanding HNW investors and wealth management strategies.

Wealth in Switzerland: HNW Investors; Understanding HNW investors and wealth management strategies.


Inheritors form the largest segment among Swiss HNW individuals, followed by family business owners. The two leading industries from which Swiss HNW individuals have generated their wealth are property and real estate, and professional services. Expats in Switzerland account for 13.5% of the local HNW population and are mostly from Europe, with France, Germany, and the UK being the largest feeder nations. Better returns and access to sophisticated investment products motivate Swiss HNW individuals to seek financial advice. The largest allocations in the average HNW portfolio are in equities and bonds. Over the next year, we expect an even greater focus on equities, and to a lesser extent alternatives, while bond holdings are forecast to decrease.

Key Findings

  •  Expectations of better returns and the availability of more sophisticated investment products are the leading reasons why investors seek professional advice.
  •  Self-directed investors are largely motivated by the opportunity to avoid asset management fees and their confidence in managing simple investments themselves.
  •  Discretionary mandates are the preferred mandate among Swiss investors and will experience the highest growth in demand.
  •  Equities are well represented in the Swiss HNW investor portfolio, accounting for the largest share at 38% followed by bonds at 25%.
  •  Going forward, allocation into equities and alternatives will increase while allocation into bonds and cash is forecast to decrease over the next year.
  •  Demand for planning services is strong among Swiss HNW individuals, with the demand for inheritance and pension planning reflecting the fact that on average Swiss HNW individuals are either in retirement or approaching retirement age.

Wealth in Switzerland: HNW Investors analyzes the investing preferences and portfolio allocation of Swiss HNW investors. The report is based on our proprietary Global Wealth Managers Survey.

Specifically the report:
  •  Profiles the average Swiss HNW investor in terms of source of wealth and age, as well as analyzing the expat opportunity in Switzerland.
  •  Analyzes which wealth management mandates are preferred among Swiss HNW investors and how the demand will develop looking forward.
  •  Examines the allocation of Swiss HNW investors’ portfolios into different asset classes and how the allocation is expected to develop in the future
  •  Analyzes the product and service demand among Swiss HNW investors.
Reasons To Buy
  •  Develop and enhance your client targeting strategies using our data on HNW profiles and source of wealth.
  •  Give your marketing strategies the edge required and capture new clients using insights from our data on HNW investors’ drivers for seeking investment advice vs. self-directing.
  •  Tailor your investment product portfolio to match the current and future demand for different asset classes among HNW individuals.
  •  Develop your service proposition to match the service and product demand expressed by Swiss HNW investors and react proactively to the forecasted change in demand.

A large proportion of Swiss HNW individuals are inheritors
Key findings
Critical success factors
Inheritance is the leading source of Swiss HNW wealth
Inheritors and family business owners form the largest segments of Swiss HNW individuals
Many HNW investors have built their fortunes through property and real estate
Expats in Switzerland form 13.5% of the HNW population
Expats constitute an above-average share of the HNW population
Cost considerations and the intention to remain in the country motivate expats to keep wealth in Switzerland
France is the leading feeder country for HNW expats residing in Switzerland
61.8% of HNW wealth is in discretionary mandates
Wealth managers should highlight their expertise in delivering higher returns
HNW investors have the largest allocation into discretionary mandates
Demand is strongest for discretionary mandates
Swiss HNW investors prefer discretionary mandates
Demand for mandates is not due to change drastically
Swiss self-directed investors prefer to avoid management fees
Allocations into bonds and cash will decrease
Equities and alternatives will appeal to investors seeking returns
Swiss investors' allocation into equities is aligned with the regional average
Bond investments are forecast to decline in popularity
Cash and near-cash allocation is aligned with the regional average
The Swiss HNW cash portfolio is balanced
Property constitutes a mere 4% of the typical HNW portfolio
Alternatives constitute 16% of the typical Swiss HNW portfolio
Commodities constitute 3% of Swiss HNW portfolios
Demand for planning services is above the regional average
Pension planning services are the most sought after
Demand for planning advice seems to be at a temporary high
Demand for investment property and tax advice is above the regional demand
Swiss investors are particularly interested in tax advice
Modest growth is forecasted for investment property advice
Abbreviations and acronyms
Mass affluent
Liquid assets
Verdict Financial's 2015 Global Wealth Managers Survey
Verdict Financial's 2014 Global Wealth Managers Survey
Exchange rates
Further reading
About Verdict Financial
List of Figures
Figure 1: Inheritors account for the largest share of Swiss HNW investors
Figure 2: Property and real estate and professional services are the leading generators of Swiss HNW wealth
Figure 3: The majority of expats have been in the country for over eight years
Figure 4: HNW expats residing in Switzerland prefer to avoid foreign exchange fees and charges by keeping some wealth in their country of residence
Figure 5: The majority of HNW expats in Switzerland are from neighboring France and Germany
Figure 6: Chase Belgrave serves expats living in Switzerland
Figure 7: Better returns and access to sophisticated investment products motivate Swiss HNW individuals to seek financial advice
Figure 8: Discretionary mandates are the preferred choice among Swiss HNW individuals
Figure 9: Demand is strongest for discretionary mandates
Figure 10: Discretionary mandates will continue to be the preferred choice
Figure 11: Cost considerations motivate Swiss HNW investors to self-direct their wealth
Figure 12: Equities and bonds account for the largest asset allocations
Figure 13: Equities are well represented in Swiss HNW portfolios
Figure 14: Capital appreciation opportunities drive equity investments
Figure 15: Bond funds and direct corporate bonds form the largest asset allocations
Figure 16: Low yields do not motivate investors to allocate their wealth into bonds
Figure 17: Local currency deposits account for 47.7% of cash and near-cash allocations
Figure 18: Allocation into cash and near-cash products will decline going forward
Figure 19: Property funds account for 80% of Swiss property investments
Figure 20: Asset diversification is the leading driver for property investments
Figure 21: Swiss allocation into alternative investments is above the regional average
Figure 22: Swiss wealth managers expect the allocation into alternatives to increase over the next year
Figure 23: Commodity ETPs are popular among Swiss HNW investors
Figure 24: Asset diversification and capital appreciation opportunities drive Swiss investment into commodities
Figure 25: Demand for pension planning is strong among Swiss investors
Figure 26: FOSS offers support in selecting Swiss family offices
Figure 27: The high current demand for advice translates into a saturated market
Figure 28: Advice on investment property and tax advice is welcomed by Swiss investors
Figure 29: UBS assists clients with investment property planning
Figure 30: Minor growth is forecasted in the demand for investment property advice

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