The Forum Finance Group
Times have changed and we believe branding and communication have become essential. Indeed, independent asset managers must now renew their client base and attract a clientele that doesn’t yet know them.
In the not too distant past, not even the largest private banks were advertising. Many didn’t even have a clear name plaque on their door. Switzerland was all about absolute discretion.
The advent of transparency, compliance and increased competition has changed all that.
More recently, Swiss private banks have spent vast amounts on branding and communication. This should be no different for the largest Swiss independent asset managers. Investing in your brand is no longer an option. It’s a necessity.
Communication is not only aimed at clients but at all stakeholders. Our existing and prospective clients expect us to be open, recognisable and communicative. Similarly, future employees want to know what differentiates us from our peers.
At the Forum Finance Group (FFG), we started a more visible campaign about eight years ago. This marketing effort has paid dividends! Our AUM has grown nearly threefold since then and we expect this trend to continue. We refreshed our logo and website three times over that period and we communicate regularly through our website, emails, press articles, TV interviews, LinkedIn, blogs and more.
However, you have to have a story to tell and be able to live up to it. We defined a clear position, with a strong vision and strategy for our company that helps to differentiate us from competitors. We invested heavily in our business and became authorised by Finma and registered with the SEC – no mean feat for a private client asset manager.
We are ready for more growth, and our efforts are paying off, because we have been attracting the attention of some high quality private bankers. For example, we were the only Geneva-based independent asset manager that was invited to be one of fourteen founding members of the Alliance of Swiss Wealth Managers (ASWM) last year.
Our greatest distinguishing feature may be that we are a partnership that offers an opportunity for entrepreneurial private bankers to be part of building a business. At FFG we have had three generational changes of partners already. Mutualisation and integration are our strengths.
Interestingly, as a result of our branding efforts, our existing and prospective clients can see and feel the positive momentum, the great ambiance and the vision that FFG has.