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Wealth Management in Switzerland

The main objective of this study is to provide increased transparency to Switzerland's wealth management industry for various stakeholders. Wealth management can be defined as an advisory service to sophisticated banking clients provided by different institutions. The scope of this study has been limited to licensed Swiss bank with at least 25% of their operating income devoted to wealth management (inclusion ratio).

Summary of issue 1 from 15.09.2023

All data used are publicly available (2021 annual reports, Zefix commercial register), whereby Switzerland's 245 banks (June 2022) serve as a starting point. Through various exclusions, we arrive at our data sample of 69 Swiss wealth management banks that jointly define Switzerland's wealth management market:

  • 2 Large Banks (CHF 5.9t AUM, CHF 190b NNM, 121k FTE)
  • 4 Cantonal Banks (CHF 0.5t AUM, CHF 36b NNM, 9k FTE)
  • 19 Private Banks (CHF 2.6t AUM, CHF 116b NNM, 30k FTE)
  • 44 Boutiques (CHF 0.2t AUM, CHF 12b NNM, 4k FTE)

In terms of their headquarter locations, Swiss wealth management banks are concentrated around the country's financial hubs of Geneva (27 HQs) and Zurich (25 HQs), followed by Lugano, Basel, and other locations.

To assess and benchmark Swiss wealth management banks' performance, this study defines twelve KPIs along four categories:

  • Profitability: Return on Total Assets, Return on Equity, Return on AUM
  • Efficiency: Cost-Income Ratio, AUM / FTE, Personnel Expense / FTE
  • Capital Adequacy: CET1-Ratio, Leverage Ratio, Liquidity Coverage Ratio
  • Growth: AUM Growth, NNM / AUM, NNM / FTE

Performance Score

The ZHAW WM Performance Score combines the above mentioned KPIs into one grading, whereby each KPI (100 points for best performance, 0 points for worst performance) equally contributes to the total score, enabling stakeholders to define their own "winners" depending on category preference:

ZHAW WM Performance Score – Total results:

  1. BZ Bank (Boutique, 595 points)
  2. Globalance Bank (Boutique, 577 points)
  3. NPB (Boutique, 541 points)

ZHAW WM Performance Score – Profitability:

  1. Banca del Ceresio (Boutique, 215 points)
  2. Pictet (Private Bank, 183 points)
  3. Mirabaud (Private Bank, 179 points)

ZHAW WM Performance Score – Efficiency:

  1. BZ Bank (Boutique, 273 points)
  2. Scobag (Private Bank, 257 points)
  3. GKB (Cantonal Bank, 195 points)


ZHAW WM Performance Score – Capital Adequacy:

  1. Scobag (Private Bank, 169 points)
  2. Banque Havilland (Boutique, 147 points)
  3. Globalance Bank (Boutique, 127 points)

Executive Summary III

ZHAW WM Performance Score – Growth:

  1. NPB (Boutique, 200 points)
  2. Van Lanschot (Boutique 118 points)
  3. Globalance Bank (Boutique, 110 points)

Lastly, this study has reviewed the Boards of Directors of Swiss wealth management banks and has found that many seem to (only) have five or six Board members, indicating that Swiss wealth management banks prefer a lean Board structure. Women are still underrepresented, with almost 40% of Swiss wealth management banks' Boards of Directors having no women at all (with a cumulative 80% of Swiss wealth management banks having a female Board representation below 30%).

To analyze a potential correlation between the composition of a Board of Directors and a wealth management bank's ZHAW WM Performance Score, this study runs simple regressions and has found no correlation between the percentage of female Board of Directors members and any category score, nor the total score (with similar results regarding the total number of Board of Directors members).


Dr. Christoph Künzle, CFA
ZHAW School of Management and Law, Fachstelle für Personal Finance & Wealth Management,

Jonas Hefti
ZHAW School of Management and Law, Fachstelle für Asset Management,