Expert Insight into Investment Services in Switzerland
Philippe Bens has over 25 years of experience in asset servicing. After graduating from a Business University, he began his career at a top-tier Luxembourg bank and after two years, moved to Bank Indosuez Luxembourg to work as a fund administration manager. In 1994, he was appointed Head of Depositary and Custody Bank and six years later, he became Senior Project Manager for Fastnet Luxembourg, where he was in charge of customer communication flows. In 2002, Philippe was promoted to Business Development Director for Switzerland, Benelux, Scandinavia and the Middle East and six years later, in 2008, he moved to Switzerland to become the Managing Director of CACEIS, where he is in charge of all operational activities and business development with a specific focus on real estate. With the creation of the CACEIS Bank Switzerland Branch in Nyon in 2015, his role changed to Country Managing Director and Head of Regional coverage for all CACEIS activities in Switzerland. We caught up with Philippe to find out more about CACEIS’ Swiss Branch and the most frequent problems that the investors they work with face.
Tell us about some of the key services that you offer to investors.
In Switzerland, CACEIS covers its whole “one-stop-shop” offering, from fund administration to global custody and depositary bank. Our client base is very diverse – from management companies to pension funds, insurance companies and private banks.
Our fund management subsidiary provides a full range of tailored services that meet the specific needs of securities funds, real estate funds and private equity funds. We provide asset managers with analysis of the fund creation project, its launch, day-to-day administration, performance measurement and reporting to investors and regulatory authorities, regardless of the fund’s jurisdiction in the main European markets.
More specifically, for foreign law funds, we act as a representative and paying agent.
The “execution to custody” model of the CACEIS group allows us to specifically target private banks through the execution of orders on the markets and the middle office. We offer a service covering the entire front, middle and back-office chain in partnership with Azqore, offering a core banking and BPO solution.
You also offer tailored services to your clients – who can benefit from your tailor-made solutions?
Swiss clients can benefit from our ability to be a one-stop-shop. Our front-office teams have the experience to understand the commercial strategy of clients and cater to the complex needs of our global clientele. CACEIS Switzerland has a thorough knowledge of the local real estate market and we are the leader in “private label” fund management.
What are some of the most common problems that the investors that reach out to you are faced with? In what ways can you help them overcome them?
Regulations are everywhere and today’s asset managers and asset owners are working within a financial-economic context with negative rates. We need to adapt quickly to these changes as in Switzerland, we are in a negative rates environment. Our services and our legal teams are here to advise our customers and to guide them in this changing environment.
On top of that, costs remain a key issue.
Looking forward, what excites you about the future of CACEIS? Are there any exciting projects in the pipeline that you can share with us?
As part of one of the largest banking groups, Crédit Agricole, CACEIS is a reliable partner in terms of business. The acquisition of KAS Bank in 2019 has strengthened our position in the Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom and boosts the range of services we offer to pension funds, insurance and asset management companies. It is exciting to see how the Group is evolving and developing itself.
Telephone: +41 58 261 28 31