Private Clients
New impulses for a traditional business model

Leo Trust Switzerland AG is a globally active financial services provider for 40 years; with a broad spectrum of services for institutional and private clients. Since April, the operational management company based in Zurich has been overseen by the 31-year-old CEO Dimitar Jauch. In this interview, he talks about changes in the competitive environment, where and why the digitalisation of the business makes sense, the balance between the tried and tested and change - but above all about why Switzerland has a future as a financial centre.

October 30, 2020

Mr. Jauch, the family office business and as well the trust business are old hats, but a significant part of your business. Why do you continue to offer this?

Because it is profitable, because there is demand, because it makes sense and is advantageous for both clients and service providers. I know that there are a few so-called trade journalists who consider this business to be a discontinued model. Allegedly because in times of tax transparency and regulation the business foundation is missing. However, that is complete nonsense. I can give you 100 reasons that support the business model.

Three reasons are enough. This is an interview, not a book about finance and economics...

Neither banking secrecy nor the desire for tax optimisation are the main drivers. The main issue here is the protection of family assets across generations or the continuation of a family-owned business. If it is regulated from the beginning what must happen operationally and familiarly and under what circumstances, discrepancies among the parties involved are prevented. The avoidance of inheritance disputes, for example, also supports the idea of transferring assets into a trust in case of death. Another example would be...

Oh please, we had agreed on three examples!

Yes, but indeed the following fact is very important. Assets in family offices or trusts are professionally managed through a team of differently specialised professionals. Individuals or families are usually overburdened with this. Now we are at the core of our business. Institutionally, we provide support with company foundations, takeovers, mergers as well as corporate governance. We advise private clients, for example, on asset and wealth management, on succession planning for family businesses and on trusts or foundations. This requires a lot of know-how - and we have the professionals who can do it. In addition, we work with partners, for example for legal and tax advice. We guarantee our clients that they will not get into difficulties due to regulatory issues, tax laws or other legal problems.

You have been CEO of Leo Trust Switzerland AG for six months now. What have you changed so far?

Leo Trust is a family business with a 40-year tradition and many loyal clients. From the beginning, it was important to me that we emphasise this aspect. This continuity/tradition is an asset of inestimable value - and I was surprised that not everyone was fully aware of such a competitive advantage. This is where we started, and on this basis, values and vision were adapted to the necessities and challenges resulting from regulation, changes in competition and digitalisation.

Exactly what do you mean by that?

Our industry used to be a rather reactive business. The customers came and used the services - there was hardly any active customer relationship management. Today, we see ourselves as intermediaries for our customers and as personal contacts. Customer issues are our challenges. Personal and individual support including excellent service quality; that is our aspiration and that is what we convey to our employees. At the same time, we are modernising our entire IT infrastructure, internally for optimal work processes and externally for the provision of new digital services.

Does that mean you are entering the FinTech business?

Digital transformation is a topic for us. Step by step we will also use new technologies and services based on them. However, the services must be useful for the client and safe to use. We have proven expertise in the areas of blockchain, cryptocurrencies and transaction options without intermediaries. That is a start. Now the most important thing is to digitalise our existing services as much as possible, and reasonably. Nowadays, when customers want something, it has to happen quickly. Otherwise, the customer is gone. And digitisation - when cleverly implemented, can enormously speed up these processes.

What is especially important to you?

Switzerland as a financial and business centre. The conditions are attractive, stable and competitive in every aspect. Around a quarter of global wealth management is implemented here and the trust in Swiss services remains extremely high. In this respect, Leo Trust will remain committed here.

Published October 30 2020, Fokus Business Success in Bilanz, page 13 (german only)

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Leo Trust Switzerland AG is a globally active financial services provider for 40 years; with a broad spectrum of services for institutional and private clients. Since April, the operational management company based in Zurich has been overseen by the 31-year-old CEO Dimitar Jauch. In this interview, he talks about changes in the competitive environment, where and why the digitalisation of the business makes sense, the balance between the tried and tested and change - but above all about why Switzerland has a future as a financial centre.

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