#Investments — 28.03.2023

Good counselling is the supreme discipline

Beat Bachmann, CEO Wealth Management Switzerland & Emerging Markets

Competencies : The prerequisites for success in private banking are an interest in people and good teamwork.

Gute Beratung ist die Königsdisziplin (wealthmanagement.bnpparibas)
Article published in "Finanz und Wirtschaft"  25/03/2023

Private banking is undergoing a profound transformation. People and technology are critical to this transformation. The ability to scale comprehensive, customized advice and solutions is an essential element of future profitable private banking models. In addition to powerful IT systems, strong personalities in all functions of value creation as well as multidisciplinary teams are indispensable for this. What do we banks and our clients expect from these personalities? Why is private banking the supreme discipline of advisory services?

"Competitive pressure requires that banks create measurable added value for their clients."

In the business with institutional clients, the banks' experts advise the experts on the side of companies, pension funds or asset managers. In private banking, the clients usually have no professional experience in banking. However, they are experienced entrepreneurs or experts in another field. If you want to give good advice in private banking, you have to respond to the needs and expectations of your clients. Empathy and the ability to translate expectations into concrete solutions are the high art of private banking.


Private banking brings together a wide variety of disciplines: asset management, financing, real estate, estate planning, sustainability, philanthropy and foundations. In each case, the constellation is different. The needs and expectations of the clients are recorded, concretised and priorities are set. With families, it is important to understand and respond to the wishes of different generations.

The bank, in turn, needs the right experts and the know-how on services, products and solutions. Teams are often formed with external partners. With the increasing importance of open architecture, it is not only important to know one's own solutions, but also the best solution on the market for certain customer situations. Comprehensive consulting requires a broad portfolio of talents. This can only be ensured by trusted employees and strong teams.

The opportunity to gain broad experience is also an asset of the Swiss financial centre that should not be underestimated. Because of the diversity and strength of the banking and technology sectors, and because of the excellent universities and programmes for further education banks have access to excellently trained employees. The fact that banks in Switzerland are simultaneously engaged in private banking, asset management and corporate and investment banking at a very high level benefits the entire financial centre. This diversity and competence also help to attract employees from Europe and all over the world. The private banking of the future needs this access to experience, know-how and a global pool of talent. A financial centre that focuses too one-sidedly on private banking is therefore limiting its development potential.

Increasing competitive pressure requires banks to create measurable added value for their customers. Empathy for the customer and the ability to translate customer expectations into solutions have not changed in the past 200 years. What is relatively new, however, is the complexity of the issues at hand.

Ultra-high-net-worth and increasingly also high-net-worth clients expect individual solutions. Asset management, financing, foundations, private assets and real estate play an important role in this. The spectrum of tasks can only be mastered by well-coordinated multidisciplinary teams that create intelligent solutions from the individual elements. The private banker as a concierge, who alone holds all the reins, no longer does justice to the reality of private banking in the 21st century.


People make the essential difference in private banking. Technology, on the other hand, is indispensable to bring people's strengths to bear. The use of technology enables teams to share information more comprehensively and efficiently and to develop tailor-made solutions in a cost-effective manner. Without technology, the complexity of today's tasks in multidisciplinary teams cannot be managed, let alone scaled. Fin- tech, in turn, creates pressure to develop unique features that can only be delivered through human-driven consulting.

The basis for success is the joy of working and interacting with people, understanding problems in their complexity and finding solutions. It requires an understanding of how technology can help to solve which task and how, and the ability to work in teams with diverse backgrounds to produce convincing results.

What makes private banking the most demanding and fulfilling discipline among advisory services? The work with the clients. They are personalities, not counterparties. It's the variety of topics, coupled with the ambition to create tailor-made solutions. And finally, it's the teamwork that counts. It is the basis for a scalable and sustainable business model.

Beat Bachmann, CEO Wealth Management Switzerland & Emerging Markets, BNP Paribas Wealth Management


Gute Beratung ist die Königsdisziplin (wealthmanagement.bnpparibas)




Beat Bachmann is Chief Executive Officer for Wealth Management Switzerland & Emerging Markets. As CEO of BNP Paribas Wealth Management Switzerland, Beat is a member of the BNP Paribas Wealth Management Executive Committee, the IM Executive Committee as well as the Executive Committee of BNP Paribas (Suisse) S.A. Beat is based in Zurich.

Beat Bachmann is a seasoned banker joining us from UBS, where over the past 16 years he has held several senior management leadership positions in Wealth Management, in both Switzerland and Germany.  He was most recently Head of Global Financial Intermediaries at UBS.  Beat has a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) and an MBA from INSEAD