SWISS SEC-REGISTERED INVESTMENT ADVISOR
Interview with Isak Mosbacher, Managing Director
Let’s start with a short description of yourself and your background.
I was born in Zurich, Switzerland. I went to study in different talmudical colleges in England and Israel. About 2002, I came back to Switzerland and went to study at a business school in Zurich and received a diploma in Business administration.
Deloitte recently confirmed Switzerland as the world’s leading private wealth management center. Why does Switzerland remain on top despite turbulences?
The main reason is for sure for diversification purposes, especially now with the forecast that the European markets should outperform the US market. The other reason is the asset protection they enjoy here more than they have in other countries.
As a Swiss wealth manager, why did you decide to register with the SEC in the United States?
The US is still a very big market with fully compliant and declared assets. US people are interested in having an account in Switzerland, we just have to explain the advantages, for example, jurisdictional, investment and currency diversification.
What particular needs does an American investor have?
American investors basically have the same needs as other investors, they want a good service which is reliable and transparent partnership. Jurisdictional diversification, meaning having somme assets outside of the American banking system, outside of the US dollar is prudent. They expect broad knowledge of the subjects from us and an open communication.
How do you address these needs?
We are fully transparent with no hidden costs or expenses, only what we tell the client upfront when signing the agreement. We provide accounts in various currencies. We do the utmost to always be available to our clients, we visit them frequently and, as mentioned before, we have open communication in the language the client feels most comfortable in. We speak Yiddish, Ivrith, English and German.
How do I know which manager to take if I have a choice and how do I check performance?
I usually advise clients to not only diversify in different continents and currencies, I also advise them to diversify in asset managers, obviously only ones they trust, that way they can compare the service they receive as well as the performance.
If you were to give one important piece of advice to American clients, what would it be?
You need time for investments, if you check every two months you may not realize that you have gained something. You need to look at investments in the long term, over let's say, a three to five-year period. If you also invest in real estate don't forget that prices also fluctuate, sometimes even more than the stock market, but you don't take a look at the price every day so you don't see it.