Review Finanz’19 – «Navigating through challenging times»

Switzerland’s biggest financial fair opened its doors at the end of January 2019 for the 21st time, and for the second time in Zurich’s Oerlikon district, with a new record number of exhibitors. As last year, the sector’s traditional get-together was aimed exclusively at asset managers, private bankers, family offices, pension funds and real estate specialists. Under the «Navigating through challenging times» motto, around 3100 visitors were able to exchange views and opinions with 165 national and international exhibitors on current investment opportunities. And notwithstanding the challenging environment, these remain attractive investment opportunities. In particular, audiences were keen to hear the former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown speak. The structured product panels also attracted a great many listeners.

Structured product representatives took part in three open forums and one panel discussion. For example, the topic of «Investment opportunities with structured products in volatile markets» was expertly discussed by Dominique Böhler (Commerzbank), Willi Bucher (Raiffeisen Switzerland), Manuel Dürr (Leonteq) and Heiko Geiger (Vontobel), chaired by André Buck (SIX). «Can a portfolio be optimised by structured products?» – was asked, and the answer was unequivocal. Provided they are skilfully selected, tactical and strategic exposures can indeed offer portfolios added value. This is because of the flexibility offered by structured products, concluded the panellists Irene Brunner (BNP Paribas), Guiseppe Caltabiano (UBP) and Roger Ganz (Clarus Capital). Representatives of the structured products and asset management industries jointly explored topics «outside the box» and threw light on the extent to which blockchain and crypto assets (could) revolutionise the financial sector. Jan Brzezek (Crypto Finance Group), Guido Bühler (SEBA Crypto), Valerio Roncone (SIX), Prof. Dr. Fabian Schär (University of Basel) along with Roger Studer (Vice President of the European Structured Investment Products Association (Eusipa) as well as Vontobel) discussed these issues, chaired by Werner Grundlehner from the NZZ newspaper.

«Do structured products set your pulse racing?»

Colourful and chocolatey – «A portfolio has never been harmed by a little structure», announced expertly stacked m&ms with SSPA branding on posters – or the sporting approach taken at the SSPA stand. « Do structured products set your pulse racing?» asked another poster – precisely measurable with give-away fitness trackers, which were very popular amongst exhibitors and visitors alike.

Finanz’20 is scheduled to take place on 5 and 6 February 2020, once again at the StageOne venue in Zurich Oerlikon. Click here for the Finanz’19 photo gallery:


The annual press conference is traditionally the kick-off event that opens the finance fair. «Continuing structured products boom in Switzerland» was the headline at Finews.ch, while Cash.ch stated «Sales of Swiss structured products rose again in 2018» – NZZ and Allnews.ch also highlighted the Association’s institutional focus: «Structured products keen to attract institutional investors» and «Structured products in the regulatory jungle».

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