Private Clients
Family Offices, Trusts & Co: The future of a traditional business model

Leo Trust Switzerland AG is a globally active financial services provider for 40 years, offering a variety of services for institutional and private clients. However, the business is changing. On the one hand, due to constantly changing regulatory standards and laws; on the other hand, due to digitalisation, globalisation and highly specific client expectations.

November 25, 2020

The English word “trust” means “reliability”. Anyone who includes this word in their company name is not only indicating a business objective, but also showing reliability in explicitly welcoming and displaying very special commitments. In this context, inclusion of the word “trust” refers not only to the purpose of maintaining customer relations, but also to a whole series of performance promises. Which relate, for example, to how extensively, committedly, and excellently services must be provided.

A very important value proposition is to consistently learn from experience, quickly address identified weaknesses and flexibly integrate improvements into daily work. After all, the financial sector is in a constant state of transformation. Not only do laws change, but above all the economic environment is volatile, the external conditions are often even fragile. The business as a whole has become global, and digitalisation is additionally accelerating developments, some of which are disruptive. In a nutshell: the business has become considerably more dynamic. Financial and investment advisors must therefore act in an enormously competent, flexible and client-oriented manner.

Target groups and portfolio - focus and diversity

The basis of a successful business is an attractive portfolio for the right target groups. Leo Trust Switzerland AG basically addresses two target groups: institutional clients and private clients.

For institutional clients, the focus is on services such as company formation and administration, mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance. For private clients, a wide range of services is available covering all aspects of family offices and wealth planning. This includes services such as: Asset Protection,Wealth Management, Trusts, Foundations and Inheritance Planning as well as Succession Plans for Family Businesses.

Good reasons for trusts and family offices

Neither banking secrecy nor the desire for tax optimisation are the main drivers. The main issue here is the protection of family assets across generations or the continuation of a family-owned business.

If it is regulated from the outset what must happen operationally and familially and under what circumstances, discrepancies among the parties involved are prevented. The avoidance of inheritance disputes, for example, also supports the idea of transferring assets into a Trust in case of death. Assets in Trusts are managed professionally - by a team of differently specialised experts. Individuals or families are usually overburdened with this. In addition, we work with partners, for example for legal and tax advice. In this way, Trust providers guarantee their clients that they will not get into difficulties due to regulatory issues, tax laws or other legal problems.

Meeting clients' needs at the push of a button

Clients' expectations are individual. Institutional entities have different concerns than private clients. What they all have in common, however, is the need for fast and easy service. Today, speed in processing orders is a key factor for the successful work of a financial service provider.

In the past, the financial sector was a rather reactive business. Customers came and used the services, while active customer relationship management was almost nonexistent. These days, it is expected that every service provider must act as a personal contact person who is always available, and is a proactive advisor to his clients.

Customer problems must be seen as challenges and be accepted. Personal and individual support including excellent service quality; that is the claim that customers have today - and of course are allowed to have. Every employee of a Trust company must be able to meet this demand.

Digitalisation as a driver

Digital transformation is also a key issue for financial advisors, and it does so on several levels.

First of all, a financial provider needs a modern and scalable IT infrastructure; internally for the optimisation of work processes. It also needs smooth and efficient customer relationship management, including a clever strategy for the evaluation, provision and use of all available data. Internally and externally, security has a high priority. This concerns the security of the IT infrastructure and applications used, but above all the security of all data, including efficient management of all access rights. Data access and security management are essential topics. If a client has even the slightest doubt that his data is not secure with his financial service provider, he will immediately look for another provider. Then, finally, externally it is also about the use of new technologies and the provision of innovative digital services. However, these services must be useful for the customer and be secure in their usage. Leo Trust Switzerland AG is an expert in areas concerning blockchain, cryptocurrencies and provides options for transactions without intermediaries.

Fintech as partners and customers

Today, the most important thing for the financial sector is to digitalise all existing services as much as possible and as usefully as possible.This is because digitalisation, when wisely implemented, can speed up all processes enormously and speed is, as already mentioned, a key factor for maintaining trust in customer relationships.

Traditional financial service providers should consider acquiring IT services specialised in the financial industry as partners, so-called Fintech, as part of a customer-oriented digitalisation. This makes sense in order to quickly establish innovative and useful services in the market for the benefit of customers. The traditional financial providers have expertise in the financial sector - and can thus naturally open up Fintech as a new customer segment in the future.

Published November 25 2020, Fokus Success Stories in Finanz und Wirtschaft, page 12 (german only)

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