Basel, 25 September 2020 – Switzerland is an important centre for asset management, both within Europe and worldwide. With a view to strengthening its position further, the Asset Management Platform (AMP) Switzerland and the Swiss Funds and Asset Management Association SFAMA will merge in autumn 2020 to form the Asset Management Association Switzerland. The Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) will be a member of the new Association with a seat on its Board of Directors.
Asset management has established itself as a mainstay of the Swiss financial sector alongside the traditional banking and insurance businesses. Its importance has grown significantly in recent years, especially in the context of pensions and sustainable investment. The total volume of assets managed by asset managers in Switzerland is estimated at more than CHF 2,500 billion.
Joining forces to serve Swiss asset management
In view of the growing importance of asset management, the Asset Management Platform Switzerland and the Swiss Funds and Asset Management Association SFAMA will merge in autumn 2020. The merger is intended to strengthen the systematic focus on asset management even further and to underscore its economic importance. The aim of creating and maintaining a favourable political and regulatory environment for the industry in Switzerland remains unchanged. Iwan Deplazes, previously Chairman of the AMP and now President of the Asset Management Association Switzerland, had this to say: «The creation and development of the AMP as a joint venture between SFAMA and the Swiss Bankers Association has been a success. The time has now come for all of the partners to pursue a merger from a position of strength. As the Asset Management Association Switzerland, we have the vision to improve Switzerland’s standing as a leading asset management location further.»
The Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) which played a vital role in helping to create and fund the AMP, supports the merger. SFAMA and the SBA both see it as an opportunity to work together more closely going forward as regards asset management and present a united front in promoting Switzerland as a location for asset management. In future, the SBA will be a member of the Asset Management Association Switzerland with a seat on its Board of Directors. SBA Chairman Herbert J. Scheidt commented, «Asset management is now a key pillar of the Swiss financial sector. The Asset Management Association Switzerland reflects this importance by bundling together the previous platforms’ knowledge and capabilities. This combination of broad membership and clear objectives will allow it to make sure that its views are heard and to strengthen Switzerland’s position as a location for asset management.»
The Asset Management Platform Switzerland: a success story
The Asset Management Platform Switzerland was set up in 2016 and has enjoyed considerable success over the past few years. In particular, it has succeeded in establishing asset management as a mainstay of the Swiss financial sector in its own right. Milestones have included the annual publication of a comprehensive study on asset management in Switzerland, a series of events on hot topics in the industry under the AMP banner and significant progress in the strategic areas of pensions, digital transformation and branding. All of this has improved the public image of the asset management industry, helping to generate steady growth in the number of AMP members.
Annual General Meeting and SFAMF
The changes to the Articles of Association needed to create the new Association were adopted at the Annual General Meeting in Bern on 25 September 2020. The following members of the Board of Directors were also elected at the meeting: Iwan Deplazes (President, Swisscanto Invest by Zürcher Kantonalbank), Charlotte Bänninger (Vice President, UBS Asset Management), Michel Degen (Credit Suisse Asset Management), Laurent Ramsey (Pictet Asset Management), Axel Schwarzer (Vontobel Asset Management) and Mirjam Staub-Bisang (BlackRock Asset Management Switzerland). A representative of the SBA will be put forward for election to the Board of Directors at the next Annual General Meeting in March 2021. Until then, the SBA will take part in Board of Directors meetings as a guest.
The Swiss Funds & Asset Management Forum (SFAMF) also took place on 25 September under the heading «Perspectives for Swiss Asset Management». Thomas Hirschi, Head of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA’s Asset Management Division, presented FINMA’s priorities in terms of asset management. Dr Jürg Fausch, lecturer at the Institute of Financial Services Zug IFZ, talked about the Swiss Asset Management Study 2020. The event concluded with a discussion moderated by Reto Lipp of SRF on the competitiveness of the Swiss asset management industry and the Association’s role.