"You have to move with the times or the times move you"

Dario De Simio 002

Dario De Simio
Head State Street Global Advisors AG Switzerland & Head Institutional Client Group Switzerland

Dario De Simio is responsible for State Street Global Advisors AG Switzerland and is Head of Institutional and Intermediary Business. Dario has been with SSGA for 15 years, during which time he has helped develop and manage the Swiss business. Prior to that, he worked at Allianz Suisse in various insurance and asset management roles. Dario studied business administration and is a CIIA and CAIA charterholder.


You will soon have been with ate Street Global Advisors (SSGA) for 15 years and have headed the Swiss business unit since 2022. What makes SSGA special?

As a company, we stand for innovation, solution finding and research. Thanks to our local roots and investment experts around the world, we are consistent partners for our clients in an ever more rapidly changing investment landscape. In four decades of serving pension funds, insurance companies, financial intermediaries and governments worldwide, we have created a range of investment solutions that enable investors to express their portfolio construction needs across almost all asset classes. The driving force behind this development has been, is and will continue to be our daily pursuit of innovation and our determination to design tailor-made solutions. As pioneers in index, ETF, active and ESG investing, we continue to create new opportunities and have become one of the largest asset managers in the world as a result.

What are SSGA's strengths in Switzerland?

SSGA offers both indexed and active asset management solutions in Switzerland. We are particularly well known for our indexed equity, bond and currency hedging services. We offer these both as collective investment funds (ETFs, mutual funds, Swiss institutional funds) and as individual mandates. In addition, we are also receiving a lot of interest in Switzerland for our broad range of actively managed fundamental and quantitative equity strategies. At present, the topic of ESG in particular has become indispensable across the board. Keeping track of ESG is difficult for many due to the constantly changing environment. We offer investors a compass, product solutions and individualised ESG concepts with which they can tackle their ESG goals.

How close is the cooperation between SSGA Switzerland and the parent company?

Switzerland is an important location for the State Street Group and currently employs almost 100 people at our headquarters in Zurich. In addition to SSGA's asset management business, our local colleagues from State Street Global Services (SSGS) and State Street Global Exchange (SSGX) provide custodian bank, fund accounting and fund administration services. For our funds and ETFs, we naturally use the services of our SSGS colleagues. We also work closely together within the framework of requested total solutions (asset management and custodian bank services from a single source). Beyond that, in turn, we live a strict governance and separation of business areas with clearly defined Chinese Walls.

What was the deciding factor for you to pursue a career in asset management?

The origin was clearly curiosity. Curiosity to follow the capital markets in real time and then build on that to gain an understanding of professional portfolio construction. As in life, you never stop learning about the capital markets. So curiosity remains a driving force to this day. But even more decisive for the decision was the opportunity to develop in an innovative and entrepreneurial way and to work with fantastic people towards goals that serve society. That has remained the case to this day.

What are the defining factors that will shape the asset management industry in the coming years?

The integration of ESG objectives into portfolios will be a defining factor for our industry for some time to come. ESG is not a trend that will disappear in the short term. ESG is here to stay. Another structural trend that will continue is investment in passive assets. Structural change in bond trading is enabling indexing experts like SSGA to now index more complex benchmarks in EM Debt, High Yield or Convertible Bonds. I also expect the use of ETFs by retail investors to further accelerate this growth. Overall, I expect the complexity of professional portfolios to increase and the trend towards alternative investments to continue. Last but not least, digitalisation will significantly change the flow of information between asset managers and clients and enable the scalability of individual portfolio solutions.

What developments are necessary for Switzerland as an asset management location in order to maintain its international competitiveness?

The Swiss economy enjoys an outstanding reputation worldwide as an innovator, pioneer and developer of products and services of the highest quality. For Switzerland as an asset management location, it is important to continue to develop on this foundation and to expand its international footprint. In doing so, the attraction and training of talent in Switzerland will be of great importance. Another important point will be that the economic-political framework in Switzerland remains open to innovation and facilitates the cross-border provision of asset management services.

How would you like to shape these years professionally?

I would like to continuously review the status quo in order to create outstanding opportunities for the future on the existing basis together with our clients. Because change is and will remain the constant in the asset management industry. You have to move with the times or the times move you.