For the financial centre
Asset management: a strong and growing cornerstone of the Swiss financial center
Asset management has developed into a key part of the Swiss financial center, contributing significantly to its growth and reputation. Swiss-based asset management firms manage some CHF 3,000 billion for domestic and foreign investors, making Switzerland one of the largest and most dynamic asset management locations in Europe. Swiss asset managers enjoy an excellent reputation, especially among institutional investors such as pension funds – professional, cost-effective management of pension assets is one of their most important tasks.
Vital to Switzerland’s financial sector
Asset managers with operations in Switzerland employ around 10,500 highly qualified staff here. It is estimated that a further 48,000 jobs depend directly or indirectly on the Swiss asset management industry. If we compare the figures for asset management with those for private banking or insurance, its appeal is clear:
- Assets under management per employee are approximately three times as high in asset management as they are in private banking.
- Both net new money and return on assets under management have been higher in asset management than in private banking over the past three years.
- Profits per employee are much higher in asset management than they are in either private banking or insurance.
An impressive export industry
Exports account for an above-average share of the Swiss asset management industry by international standards. Around a third of all assets managed by asset managers in Switzerland come from foreign clients. Swiss asset managers are more specialized than their European rivals, as a result of which their revenue and profit margins are higher in spite of higher payroll costs.
A mainstay for banks and insurers
While there has been a trend toward asset managers being independent from banks and insurers in Switzerland (Partners Group, for instance, is now the most valuable listed asset manager in Europe), some banks and insurers have also expanded their asset management units considerably. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that these make up a significant share of the parent companies’ overall business:
- 37% of assets under management
- 15% of revenues
- 23% of profits
- 9% of staff
This also makes asset management an important source of tax revenue at both cantonal and federal levels.