Geneva: World Leader in Wealth Management
Geneva is well-known as a city of peace and international negotiation. It is reckoned to be the most active diplomatic center on earth, thanks to the presence of numerous international organizations (World Trade Organization, World Health Organization, International Telecommunications Union, Organization, European Organization for Nuclear Research, World Intellectual Property Organization, World Meteorological Organization, International Labor Organization, International Committee of the Red Cross, etc.).
But Geneva is also a thriving business city, which has put the notion of excellence to a high level. One may think about the famous Swiss watches, manufactured in Geneva (Rolex, Patek Philippe, Vacheron & Constantin, Chopard, Piaget, etc.), or the many "Fortune 100" companies, that have located their European or Middle-Eastern activities in the Lake Geneva area.
In the world of finance, Geneva is also considered as the world benchmark in private banking and asset management.
This tradition is deeply rooted, beginning in the 15th century. At that time (and still now), Geneva was a major trading city, with fairs attracting business people from all over Europe. These fairs generated money transfers, payment orders and foreign exchange, between Geneva and several European cities. This activity led to the creation of many banks, which gave Geneva its reputation in the financial industry.
Some of its bankers even became advisers to ministers and monarchs of foreign countries, or in some cases, ministers of finance (in the United States, in Canada, or in France).
Nowadays, Geneva-based banks are universally considered to be the world leaders in wealth management and private banking, as their personnel has mastered the art of tailor-made services, providing a proven expertise in managing the assets of their customers world-wide.
Among the Swiss francs 5 trillion of assets managed in Switzerland, 40 % is handled by companies based in Geneva, where the financial scene consists of :
- - 145 banks, including 93 foreign-owned
- - 860 financial companies
- - 360 independent portfolio managers
- - 21'000 employees in financial services
- - plus 350 law firms and 1,000 accounting firms, which offer legal and fiscal advice, on a transnational basis.
Geneva's financial center combines a strict application of banking regulations and anti-money laundering rules with a strong tradition and respect for financial privacy, backed by the famous Swiss banking secrecy laws.
Geneva has also become a major actor in the specialized banking activity of trade finance (oil, soft commodities and non-ferrous metals).
Both banking officers and employees in Geneva are strongly committed to providing superb service to private and institutional clients, and to ensuring that the Geneva banking industry remains a significant, trusted and respected actor on the world financial scene.