«A passion for people and markets.»
Dominik Brunner, a specialist in alternative investments has worked at Schroder Investment Management Switzerland since June 2018. Prior to that, he spent almost 20 years at UBS. Dominik’s job involves familiarising clients with the fast-growing range of alternative investments and helping them to find ways to incorporate these into their portfolios. His focus is on private assets such as private equity and hedge funds. He is married and has one son.
Dominik Brunner, what is it that motivates you?
My passion for everything to do with capital markets and working with interesting people. I feel very privileged that my job involves both of these.
Which values underlie your day-to-day actions, decisions, plans?
I see respect and good manners as core values that guide my behaviour, both privately and professionally. I always try to treat people the same way I would like to be treated myself. Authenticity is also important to me. I try to be honest with myself and others. While it may be easy to step into a different role for a short while, you can only be successful over the long term by being yourself.
What drove you to do what you do today?
I knew very early on that I wanted to work in finance and capital markets. I worked for an institutional asset manager in research and portfolio management, gradually moving closer to the client-facing side. Over time, my focus has shifted steadily from stocks and bonds towards alternative investments such as hedge funds and private assets.
What importance do you attach to social media?
A great deal, especially with regard to professional networking. I’m fascinated by the opportunity to interact with a larger group of people, make new contacts, and share ideas and opinions.
What do you enjoy most in your job, what least?
What I enjoy most of all is talking to clients about what’s going on in the world and the outlook for the markets. What I don’t like so much – and I’m probably not alone here – is some of the administrative paperwork, which is sadly on the increase.
Which problems do politicians and authorities need to address urgently?
In my view, the hottest topic in the financial industry at the moment is sustainable investment. It’s all about the key environmental issues, social justice and responsible corporate governance – ESG for short. I firmly believe that we’re only at the beginning of a long cycle and that politicians have a lot of work to do to clarify and promote these issues in order to bring about change for the better. We need the authorities to impose clear frameworks that create transparency and help us to invest capital in a targeted and ultimately sustainable way.
How do you achieve that crucial work/life balance?
Sport is very important to me and helps me to clear my head. Unfortunately, I don’t manage to go rowing on Lake Lucerne very often these days, but I do spend as much time as I can outdoors and close to nature. I enjoy running, cycling and of course skiing in the winter. When spring comes around, my life moves into the garden, which provides a valuable counter balance to my office job. Most important of all is spending time with my family.
What advice would you give to someone embarking on a career in asset management today or your younger self?
First and foremost, you need to learn the trade from the ground up. This experience could prove very useful later on in face-to-face discussions with clients and partners because it means you’ll have more than just a theoretical understanding of the problems and challenges they face. I would also advise anyone to get experience of working in other countries.
Where is your favourite travel destination?
Ticino – more precisely the Sottoceneri region. I almost feel like I’m in Italy there. I love the mix of easy-going Italian attitude and Swiss reliability. My favourite foreign city is Prague because of my family background as well as its interesting history and impressive architecture. It has other attractions: the unpasteurised and unfiltered Czech beer, in particular, is always worth the trip eastwards.
What do you do on a business trip?
I often work. Because I am usually undisturbed, I have time to think about strategic issues.
Which country would you live in if you had the choice, and why?
I’m very happy to be living in Switzerland with my family. I could imagine Italy being a very good alternative. It’s more diverse than almost any other country: sea, mountains, fantastic food and fine wines – what more do you need to live a good life? I’m learning the language at the moment.
What background image do you have on your phone?
Partly thanks to my links with Czechia, I’m a big ice hockey fan. I still have the Zug team EVZ’s logo on my screen, even though the hockey season has finished. Usually, though, it’s a picture of my family.