Playing trumps with structured products in turbulent times

The trigger for a very intensive period on markets and for movements within the market for structured products took place more than a year ago, 15 January 2015, when the lower exchange rate limit between the euro and the Swiss franc was abandoned. Markets did not calm down in the aftermath of this event – thanks to Greece and China. Investors were unsettled by the associated volatility. While the low interest rate environment, with rates below zero, did little to help investors, it enabled structured products to demonstrate their potential. In uncertain times the flexibility of structured products enables them to come up trumps and offer good investment opportunities. Transparency and information are essential here, and are increasingly being pushed to the fore of investor needs.

The promotion of transparency and the dissemination of information have top priority for the association. The responsive design of the recent website relaunch represented a huge step in this direction. At the same time, the structure has been simplified and made more user-friendly – newcomers and professionals now have easier access to comprehensive information, and this has been tailored to meet their particular needs. In addition, the new website has also been optimised for mobile phones, tablets etc. The new market statistics, launched at the beginning of February, also help to improve the transparency of structured products. Figures for the entire Swiss market have become available for the first time, showing the importance of structured products.

Further tools are in the pipeline, for the focus in 2016 is on the use of structured products within a portfolio context – and consequently the targeted dissemination of information for relationship managers (RMs). We are keen to present the extensive potential and potential uses of structural products to relationship managers as comprehensively as possible. If RMs are specifically trained on the suitable use of structured products in customer portfolios, these products can be employed not only opportunistically but also systematically. A tailor-made app will help RMs understand how structured products work in customer portfolios and systematically explain the advantages of mixing in these products. It enables different sample portfolios and different market scenarios to be vividly simulated, underscoring the huge potential presented by the systematic deployment of structured products. There are plans to launch the new tool during the second half of the year – just wait and see!

In-house news – the Association will be reaching a milestone in its history this spring: we will be proud to mark the SSPA’s tenth anniversary, and to review the achievements of the past decade. Founded on 4 April 2006, it will therefore be celebrating its 10th anniversary on 4 April 2016. Today it is eagerly sought and valued as an expert voice by public authorities, politicians and investors. We will, of course, be marking this milestone anniversary in a fitting manner, and within the context of an anniversary event in the early summer will be thanking in particular our employees as well as all our associates for their trust and support.

Georg von Wattenwyl, SSPA Chairman

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