5th Hong Kong–Swiss Financial Seminar: “The needs of family offices are evolving”

Family offices have undergone massive development in the last ten years – and through their investments they play an important role in the economy. How are these developments impacting international wealth management and the expectations of family offices? Have needs evolved or changed? Those questions dominated this year’s Hong Kong–Swiss Financial Seminar.

The fifth edition of the Hong Kong–Swiss Financial Seminar on 21 January was once again a purely virtual event, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. The seminar was attended by over 180 participants online. The speeches and panel discussion further deepened the already good relations between the two leading wealth management centres and provided a forum for exchange between experts.

In his introduction, Marcel Rohner, Chairman of the Swiss Bankers Association, emphasised the importance of maintaining dialogue between the Hong Kong and Swiss financial centres despite the challenges of the pandemic, stating: “We want to work together to anticipate developments in wealth management and explore growth opportunities from which both our financial service centres and our economies will benefit.” He pointed to the fundamental significance of sustainability, which has been defined as a top priority for the Swiss Bankers Association.

In his keynote speech, Stefan Flückiger, Deputy Head of the State Secretariat for International Finance (SIF), set out how Switzerland is looking to safeguard its traditionally leading position in wealth management going forward. He underscored the importance of continuing development, and highlighted the progress made by the Swiss financial centre in sustainability and fintech innovation. Edmond Lau, JP, Deputy Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), then gave a further keynote speech shedding light on Hong Kong’s role as a hub for wealth and wealth management as well as the role of green finance. He also explained the various measures being taken by the HKMA.

Family offices have undergone massive development in the last ten years – and through their investments they play an important role in the economy. Switzerland occupies a leading position in this segment in Europe. The panel discussion focused on issues including the expectations of family offices – both established players and recent entrants managing new wealth in Asia – and how they set themselves apart from private wealth managers. The experts demonstrated how family offices are positioning themselves in this environment and the direction in which their needs have evolved. It emerged that issues such as sustainability and innovation are gaining importance in this segment as much as elsewhere.

The Financial Seminar was the fifth in a series organised by the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) and Hong Kong’s Private Wealth Management Association (PWMA). Its central aim is to deepen relations and boost collaboration between the two associations and financial centres.


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