"The culture at Fisch works through cooperation and teamwork".
CEO bei Fisch Asset Management
Juerg Sturzenegger joined Fisch Asset Management at the end of 2016, where he served as Co-CEO until the end of 2019 and is now the sole CEO. He started his financial career in corporate finance at Bank Leu. Via Julius Baer, where he headed the Capital Markets division for several years and then Private Banking Wealth Engineering, the economist joined VP Bank in Liechtenstein, where he was COO, CIO and, for a short time, also Co-CEO.
Mr. Sturzenegger, asset managers like Fisch often differentiate themselves by using the term "boutique". What is meant by this?
We associate the term asset management boutique with our very specific and deep investment expertise, with which we aim to generate added value for our clients. The associated focus and specialisation on a limited number of strategies enables us to position ourselves clearly and unmistakably vis-à-vis the large asset managers via performance with investment solutions and less via the reach of the sales organisation.
Does a boutique such as Fisch Asset Management also bring special requirements for a corporate culture?
We consider a lived corporate culture, especially in a boutique, to be a strategic success factor. Transparency, open communication, mutual respect, team spirit and entrepreneurship form the basis of our corporate culture. Employees are often innovative and creative personalities with a strong passion for financial market topics, and appreciate the freedom in our environment. Flat hierarchies, deep expertise and short decision-making paths have characterised this fish culture since its foundation and are appreciated not only by our employees but also by clients.
What are your tools for maintaining a competitive culture internally?
The Fisch culture works through cooperation and teamwork. This leads to a high level of identification and motivation among our employees and manifests itself in a high level of commitment to our customers and our company. A purely competitive culture no longer works in today's world. Employees seek the exchange and interaction of different ideas for the benefit of the customer. We have succeeded in establishing this sustainable corporate philosophy. It is the sustainable basis for our corporate development.
In your career, you have always worked in different "disciplines" before becoming CEO of an asset manager. What stands out in asset management - for example in comparison to private banking?
First of all, the differences are smaller than you would expect. In asset management, the focus is primarily on the assets and their investment options and then on investment performance, whereas private banking takes into account numerous other aspects besides asset management, such as taxes or succession planning. Clear investment guidelines and objectives form the guidelines for the structured investment process in asset management. For some years now, these insights from asset management have also been increasingly flowing into private banking and the interaction between the areas is constantly being intensified.
What is the daily attraction of your work for you?
The attraction lies in the task itself and in the creative possibilities. Global events and current affairs are reflected in our daily tasks and challenges. Our industry is challenged by this on a daily basis and develops very quickly. And on top of that, we always receive direct feedback from the market and our customers. Our task is complex: we operate on the markets in real time, deal with the latest technologies, try to contribute to the issue of climate change and, as an employer, we are required to offer an attractive working environment. In addition, as a boutique with a sustainable corporate philosophy, we move daily in the field of tension between tradition and innovation, driven by technological change. I can't imagine a more exciting task.
What are the competitive advantages of Switzerland as an asset management location?
Switzerland's positioning as an asset management location has gradually improved over the last few years. Of course, we have also benefited from the general strengths of the Swiss financial centre, such as political stability and thus a high degree of predictability, a high standard of education, multilingualism and technological progress. It also helps, of course, that a considerable volume of assets is managed in Switzerland. However, we must be clear that asset management is an international business and competition is correspondingly intense.
Where does the Swiss financial centre need to catch up?
The Swiss financial centre lags behind other financial centres in the integration of sustainability considerations. Other topics that should be worked on are international networking and market access as well as digitalisation. Everyone is equally challenged here: our industry, government and parliament, as well as the supervisory authorities.
How do you deal with the important issue of talent recruitment and training at Fisch?
For talented people in the finance sector, the opportunity to develop and contribute to the company is increasingly crucial when choosing an employer and often clearly overrides monetary aspects. At Fisch, we offer an overall concept for "agile working" that provides employees with a modern and dynamic working environment. We rely on flexible working models - without fixed quotas for working in the office, abroad or from home, access to internal and external training and part-time jobs at all hierarchy levels. In addition, all employees have the opportunity to actively contribute to the company with their own ideas, even outside their actual area of responsibility. In return, they are given time, budget and creative freedom. This opens up interesting perspectives for all employees, both for their own development and for the development of the company.