Awards for Distinction 2012 – Boutique


Pictet & Cie

Claude Haberer

Claude Haberer
CEO Asia Pacific, Wealth Management

The definition of a boutique bank is a topic of much debate in our industry – whilst some believe a bank is boutique depending on the size of its assets under management, others use a bank’s business model or headcount as a benchmark. And while eligibility for the Asian Private Banker Best Boutique Private Bank award requires wealth management to be a bank’s sole core business activity, success in this category hinges on a candidate’s ability to push beyond this base qualification. Specifically, its product and service offerings should be diverse and innovative, its stability should be indisputable, and its reputation and culture should serve to both attract and retain the industry’s top talent.

That Pictet & Cie qualifies on these grounds is testament to the Swiss boutique’s ability to balance specialisation and scope, offering clients a range of asset classes including some which go beyond the traditional forte of pure-play banks, such as real estate and commodities.

Asian Private Banker views Pictet’s independence from external links – which may otherwise influence the bank’s product or service offering – as a core facet of its proposition to clients. Indeed, 80% of the funds in the private bank’s model portfolio are non-Pictet funds, a reliable measure of its independence, which according to Jacques de Saussure, a Switzerland-based senior partner at the bank, is a central tenet at Pictet & Cie. “Independence lies at the heart of our business and our ability to manage our clients’ assets without distraction,” he explains.

Yet Pictet’s independence does not come at the cost of stability. It is, at present, the only bank of its size to be awarded an AA- credit rating with a stable outlook. Pictet also has a high Tier I ratio (16.9% at the end of 2011). For these reasons, Asian Private Banker considers Pictet & Cie to be this year’s preeminent boutique bank in Asia, and the worthy winner of the Asian Private Banker Best Boutique Private Bank award for 2012.