Georg von Wattenwyl: «We Need To Build The Right Partnerships»

Georg von Wattenwyl, Vontobel Financial Products

Georg von Wattenwyl, Vontobel Financial Products

Delivering a sustainable offering, coupled with valuable accompanying services and investment content, will hinge on generating innovative community-driven ideas for structured products, Vontobel's Georg von Wattenwyl writes for

By Georg von Wattenwyl, Managing Director, Vontobel Group

The financial industry has been operating in a challenging investment environment in recent years – and this is set to remain the case. It is therefore essential that we continue to improve our understanding of our business partners and tailor our offerings flexibly to address increasing demands.

While this is initially a matter of necessity to survive in the market, can it not also be seen as an opportunity? When it comes to structured products it certainly can: developing such smart investment strategies can allow you to position yourself for long-term success.

Far Beyond Top-Quality Products

That said, individual product strategies will no longer be sufficient in and of themselves. Ensuring a lasting increase in the benefits for business partners will also require a structured product offering that is both comprehensive and bespoke. This goes beyond just top-quality products, and now also includes delivering services that are useful and that further enhance the value of the promising investments and strategies.

In this context, valuable investment content accompanying the products as well as inspiring background information are increasingly coming to the fore. This stems from the ongoing changes in the ways in which content is ‘consumed’ and the resultant innovations driven – and this also applies to structured products.

Defining New Services

Amid the ever widening new field of innovation management, success centres on a fundamental change in the roles of business partners and the way they interact. We can now even speak of ‘open innovation’ processes, which could prove to be revolutionary. While business partners will undoubtedly remain service recipients, they will themselves also play a key role in defining these services, adding value as co-innovators.

Such new, open innovation processes are currently gaining importance across other sectors. With its existing, tried-and-tested set-up, Vontobel Financial Products in particular is well placed to harness the potential from involving business partners in the process of creating structured products.

Adding Yet More Value

When it comes to ensuring a sustainably high level of quality in the offering of structured solutions, it is especially valuable to have an active exchange of ideas as part of the innovation process – and this not just with business partners, but also with other service providers and external experts. This is something Vontobel has long since integrated in all its business models, and it is now taking hold in various sectors and companies.

Why are a wide range of external partners being deliberately brought on board early in development processes? Because they often have ideas that would not have occurred to anyone in-house. That said, innovations can only reap long-term rewards if you work together with the ‘right’ partners, and these need to be carefully selected.

Based on Performance

Vontobel Financial Products is the ideal partner in the structured product segment. We see ourselves as a leading service provider that delivers a range of promising structured investments coupled with relevant and useful content, so meeting the key criteria for ensuring the continued success of wealth managers. Our relationships with business partners are based on performance and trust. These facets are an integral part of our culture, and will remain so.

We embody the Swiss conservative values and approach to risk, and set ourselves apart with our expertise, capacity for innovation, precision and outstanding client focus – and a clear platform-based philosophy.

Physical Platform With Community Effect

A platform’s most valuable assets are its content and users, in that they can generate positive network effects within the platform ecosystem. Vontobel Financial Products taps into the resulting community effects both digitally and physically within a wide range of business models in the structured products space. Classic ‘offline’ concepts include events tailored to the specific needs of certain target groups, for example.

Just recently, on 8 November 2016, Vontobel Financial Products staged its 2nd «Wealth Management Leadership Forum» in Singapore together with co-organizer «Asia Risk», a company well known in the financial sector and publisher of the magazine of the same name. This dedicated platform format highlights possibilities for wealth managers to give an individual touch to their client offerings with structured investment solutions.

Exchange of Content and Ideas

There are certain aspects that are pivotal to a platform’s success, and these also play a crucial role for the Wealth Management Leadership Forum in Singapore: the appeal for participants, and the availability of tools and services to facilitate interaction between them – and so to create benefits. The Event proved to be an ideal platform, developing into a community comprising wealth managers, experts from Vontobel, external guest speakers and «Asia Risk» as co-coordinator.

One of the successes of this structured products event was the active exchange of valuable investment content and ideas, from internal and external sources alike. The framework programme was geared towards aspects of greatest interest to the wealth managers. High-calibre keynote speakers also addressed current issues such as the then imminent U.S. presidential election and the associated macroeconomic challenges, with the discussion then being continued in the community.

Unique Pool of Expertise

Vontobel’s experts also presented new developments and trends, and highlighted how structured investment products can be used to deliver suitable strategies and promising investment opportunities.

Together the platform participants – wealth managers, experts and organizers – ultimately formed a unique pool of expertise in the offering of structured products. Today, such a community effect can be a superlative means of harnessing potential competitive advantages in wealth management.

Georg von Wattenwyl is Global Head of Financial Products, Advisory & Distribution, Vontobel Financial Products.



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