Finanz’2018 – «Facing the new normal»
Switzerland’s biggest financial fair opened its doors at the beginning of February 2018, and celebrated its 20th anniversary fair with 3300 visitors. The focus shifted exclusively to professional investors. On account of the three-year refurbishment of Zurich’s Kongresshaus, they will be able to inform themselves about innovative investment opportunities in a challenging environment between 31 January and 1 February 2018 at the Event Hall StageOne in Zurich Oerlikon.
Refreshment for portfolios: structural product smoothies in product categories with strong sales
Under the motto «Facing the new normal», over 130 exhibitors presented concepts that investors can use to maintain performance, despite the low interest rate environment, or explained how globalisation and digitalisation are impacting markets. At the SSPA stand, smoothies with the flavours «leverage», «participation», «yield optimisation» and «capital protection» provided a vitamin kick and refreshment for consumers and their portfolios.
Making potential of structural products useful for pension funds – information & transparency key
Numerous panel discussions and lectures – including on structured products – also attracted interest. «Structured products and pension funds – perfect combination or illusion?» was the topic discussed by Maurice Pedergnana, Professor HSLU and Managing Partner at Zugerberg Finanz as well as Martin Roth, Managing Director of the Manor Pension Fund and Georg von Wattenwyl, SSPA Chairman, chaired by Philippe Béguelin, Head of the Markets Department at «Finanz und Wirtschaft», focusing on innovative options for deployment in the pension fund field. In short: This will take extensive educational campaigns and a great deal of transparency, because «pension fund board members need to be taught to look beyond high bond ratios» and to include structured products in their portfolios, according to Pedergnana. Particularly in times of rising interest rates, stated von Wattenwyl, structured products are «a good alternative to bonds» – and there is still untapped potential. Pedergnana explained that about «30 to 35% of the capital in the bond segment of pension funds is essentially dormant.» When it comes to their deployment, it is also important that structured products are no longer thought to be opaque, thus enabling them to be deployed more easily. For this purpose, the association is working proactively with the relevant stakeholders.
New «SP Portfolio Optimizer» features: Filmed use cases show targeted applications
Updates on the «SP Portfolio Optimizer» app that was launched last year were presented by Peter Keller, SSPA Head Operation & Standards and Florian Müller-Reiter, head of Derivatives Technologies, swissQuant Group. Filmed use cases illustrate in a simple and straightforward manner how the app can be used, enabling the potential of structured products in portfolios to be simulated in a vivid manner.
The group of structured products experts Dominique Böhler, Head Public Distribution Switzerland, Commerzbank, Willi F.X. Bucher, Head of Products & Sales Unit, Raiffeisen Schweiz Genossenschaft as well as Manuel Dürr, Head of Public Solutions, Leonteq Securities and Dr York-Peter Meyer, Head Financial Product Advisory German-Speaking Switzerland & Ticino, Bank Vontobel, chaired by André Buck, Head Sales, SIX Swiss Exchange highlight «investment opportunities for professional investors – where investments are currently worthwhile». The structured products industry is certainly no stranger to innovative products & technological developments! Francis Gardeyn, Head Cross Asset Structuring, and Dirk Wieringa, Head Client Coverage Liquid Alternatives, both from Credit Suisse, showed how these can be put to quantitative use during their talk on «Quantitative Investment Strategies».