At Private Banking & Wealth Management London 2024, hosted in Victoria, Michael Welti, head of private banking & member of the executive committee, Banque Heritage, spoke on the importance of family offices to the sector.

Welti started his talk by noting the congestion in the market, which often leads to consolidation.

He stated: “Family offices and EAMs are an important clients for us. We see ourselves as partners and not as competitors. 

“While the Swiss market has grown in recent years, consolidation has reduced the number of banks and EAMs, 440 banks to 220 and 2500 EAMS to over 1000 licensed ones, and the story is not over yet.”

The balance between family offices and private banks

Private banking is often about balance and it is no different when it comes to family offices. This often does not leave space for firms in the middle; you must either become big or specialised.

Banque Heritage has experience of both sides, having once been a family office before transforming into a fully fledged private bank.

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Welti explained: “The challenge for the future is the large private banks in the middle who have to decide to become universal or boutique. They were more agile until they became big.”

Entrepreneurs often look for the boutique experience, but Welti stated Banque Heritage is up for the challenge.

He said: “We understand how entrepreneurs work and the complexity of what they are dealing with, because we are entrepreneurs ourselves.”

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