VP Bank has a diversified business model with clearly defined business segments. Its core activity is business with financial intermediaries (primarily professional financial service providers such as trustees, external asset managers and family offices) and wealthy private clients. The third strategic business segment is consolidated under Client Solutions and focuses on access to investment solutions through our fund management companies – with comprehensive fund solutions for fund providers, asset managers and management companies – as well as investments in the emerging private market.
In Liechtenstein, VP Bank offers a broad universal banking line for retail clients, small to medium-sized companies and real estate companies.
VP Bank’s client advisors work with clients in the private banking, intermediary and corporate segments. By assigning client advisors to clearly defined segments, the Bank ensures the best possible advisory quality and a focus on the respective needs of clients in each segment. Thanks to numerous synergies between the respective business segments, VP Bank clients benefit from attractive added value in the extensive products and services.
For its advisory activities, VP Bank focuses on personalised support, quick decision-making capabilities, agility, flexible, tailored and sustainable solutions and a long- term approach.
The quality of client service and support is regularly assessed by independent specialists. VP Bank was also examined as part of the Fuchsbriefe Tops 2021 test , which was published in Germany under the slogan “Who is sustainable?”. In the advisory consultation, VP Bank was able to impress the examiners, who awarded the assessment of “Very good performance”. The Bank also moved up by one position in the overall ranking and is now in 10th place on the “Perpetual best list”.
We see this recognition as confirmation of the systematic measures taken to bolster our service and performance culture. The ongoing certifications of the client advisors ensure a consistently high standard of quality of our advisory services. Our sustainable investment philosophy also ensured that we made a compelling case.
With its 10th place standing on the list, VP Bank ranks among the top 10 of the “European League” of the best wealth managers. The independent test rating proves that VP Bank operates at the highest level in terms of advisory standards and sustainability in an international comparison.
VP Bank markets
VP Bank is primarily active in the strategically defined target markets in Europe and Asia (see the “Strategic orientation” section). Complementary growth potential is developed in additional opportunity markets – mainly other regions in Europe. With the acquisition of the private banking business of Öhman Bank S.A. in Luxembourg, we were able to further strengthen VP Bank’s position in the Nordic target markets in 2020. In Asia, we intensified our cooperation with Hywin Wealth of Hong Kong/Shanghai in order to boost our business in this attractive growth region together with this financial service provider, which is recognised in China. In preparation for the new Strategy 2026, VP Bank locations have brought their services even more resolutely in line with the clients in target markets, thus creating good conditions for our ambitions in terms of national and international growth.
On an ongoing basis, VP Bank ascertains and analyses its clients’ views on its services and assesses its advisory quality, thereby gaining valuable insight as to how it can adapt its services to satisfy client needs more effectively. Internal processes for the delivery of services are also reviewed and optimised in a targeted manner with the help of client feedback. A special focus is placed on what tomorrow’s clients need, allowing our services to already meet these needs today or to take steps in that direction. To do this, client opinions are systematically solicited in personal meetings, on contact forms on the website and in client surveys conducted on an ongoing basis.
If complaints are received, solutions for the specific situation are sought and implemented in a personal dialogue with the client. This approach makes it possible for VP Bank to derive the implications for relationship management as well as to use the insights gained for optimisations to services and processes. This also satisfies the complaint resolution guidelines of the Liechtenstein Financial Market Authority (FMA).
VP Bank’s services
VP Bank’s clear strengths include its comprehensive client support and the combination of a wide variety of services. Complex client requirements are systematically recorded, and clients are regularly informed about their status. We consistently take into account all sustainability criteria, the comprehensive economic, legal and risk aspects, and the operational considerations.
The Bank’s services start with basic services for account and custody management and payments. For private clients, we offer customised asset management and investment advisory services, wealth planning, pension and estate planning, financing and fund solutions.
In the investment solutions area, VP Bank has a broad range of investment advisory and asset management options. Clients can work together with their client advisor and investment specialists to put together an optimal portfolio that combines their own ideas with proposals from the Bank. Ongoing portfolio monitoring ensures compliance with the client’s risk profile and specifications. A specialised advisory team offers clients additional support for their specific individual requirements.
In the asset management area, clients may choose between mandates for fund-based products and individual securities. They can also determine the frequency of the portfolio adjustments. VP Bank also offers a sustainability mandate that places further emphasis on environmental, social and corporate governance issues. In the enhanced mandate that is also offered, the selected investment strategy is implemented even more actively with a focus on the use of cost-effective investment instruments such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and index funds as well as derivatives. In addition to active allocation across the various asset classes in accordance with our market assessment, the additional elements of volatility, momentum and themes ensure further optimisation of risk-return characteristics.
The lending business is aligned with the strategic business segments of intermediaries and private banking. The linkage between investment and financing solutions and the establishment of specialised solutions are key differentiation factors relative to traditional private banks. In the local lending business, VP Bank is very well positioned as a lender to retail and corporate clients.
To ensure comprehensive support, VP Bank works together with external specialists, enabling us to suggest partners to our clients for wealth planning, retirement and estate planning, tax advice, corporate earnings or corporate transactions.
Financial intermediaries and fund providers benefit from a variety of services tailored to their needs. In addition to basic services for account and portfolio management, custodian bank services and order processing, specific services are offered especially for intermediaries for investment advisory services, advice on regulatory issues, and fund solutions. With its direct execution service, VP Bank provides direct access to trading.
A broad range of digital solutions for sharing data and information makes VP Bank a leading bank for intermediary clients. The continuous development in data interfaces and the modern client portal offer independence, efficiency and security, as well as round-the-clock electronic access to accounts and custody accounts.
Digitally supported client services
For its client services, VP Bank relies on personal contact with advisors and specialists. This allows the Bank to recognise more complex client requirements in the best way while anticipating the needs of the future.
In the unusual year of 2020, we introduced new digital solutions to our client advisory services in response to numerous COVID-19 safety measures and the accompanying restrictions on face-to-face contact. In order to continue to ensure individual and personal advisory consultations for our clients even under challenging conditions, we began offering the option of advisory consultations via video conferences. As personal interaction has unfortunately become rare in the past year, the option to get together digitally is very much appreciated by both our clients and our client advisors.
Digital tools support our client advisors during the entire advisory process, from the client meeting preparation phase to the execution phase following the meeting. Tablets make it possible to simulate various investment proposals directly during the advisory meeting, make adjustments jointly and place orders. Portfolio adjustments thereby become much more transparent and understandable. It makes it possible to make well-informed decisions even during the client discussions, since the client advisor can provide immediate clarifications and answers to questions.
With the roll-out of a new cockpit for our client advisors, we are enabling a significant increase in efficiency in the completion of administrative activities so that more time can be dedicated to serving the client. The use of digital tools makes it possible to easily and efficiently serve client needs in a standardised manner, regardless of time or place. It also allows advisors to focus on more complex client needs during personal meetings.
By continuously expanding our VP Bank e-banking into a client portal, we are responding to the changing needs of clients with regard to the degree of digitalisation of banking services; in doing so, we are increasing our focus on transparency and accessibility. The opportunities for interaction have been expanded, and with the roll-out of the new messaging function, we have created a fast and secure communication channel between the client and the Bank. Regardless of whether the client is logged in to the client portal, they can now be notified about the activities on their custody accounts and other accounts at any time.
Structured advisory process
The changing environment of the banking world requires an optimised product and service range. Our advisory concept therefore involves adapting the business model for traditional investment advice. With our systematic advisory process and ongoing development of services, we have laid the foundation for the investment advisory service of the future.
VP Bank’s advisory process, which is clearly defined Group-wide, ensures that individual client needs are implemented professionally. It also provides client advi- sors with supporting guidelines based on default solu- tions for recurring processes and activities, digital and other resources, quality requirements, the definition of responsibilities, and collaboration between internal and external partners. These tools give the client advisor more time to support clients individually.
The steps in the advisory process include new client development, understanding, advising and implementing client preferences, and accompaniment of the implementation.
The advisory process begins with attracting new clients. Most new clients are referred by VP Bank’s existing clients.
VP Bank seeks to get to know the client and his or her complete financial situation, since this understanding is essential for providing targeted advice. For private banking clients, that raises a series of questions:
Who am I dealing with?
What distinguishes this person and what motivates him?
What are his goals?
As a bank, how can we support him?
In the case of intermediaries, the key is to understand the business model:
What is the intermediary’s business?
Who are its clients?
How is the intermediary positioned?
How does it do business?
How does it support its clients?
Where are its activities?
When proposing solutions, the bank systematically considers different alternatives and scenarios. Solutions are developed by teams made up of client advisors and specialists in direct contact with the client as needed.
Implement client preferences
The essence of VP Bank’s client care consists of the timely implementation of agreed-upon solutions or a clearly defined implementation timetable that meets the client’s expectations.
The advisory process does not end when the agreed-upon solution has been implemented. VP Bank periodically discusses the client’s preferences and profile with the client and adjusts the implementation accordingly.
Further training for client advisors
Highly trained client advisors are the foundation of excellent support. In addition, the constant addition of new regulatory requirements means that VP Bank needs to train its client-facing employees in a manner consistent with these requirements. VP Bank thus continuously invests in their training and continuing education. By the end of December 2020, our client advisors at the Liechtenstein and Swiss locations had already successfully completed the international certification according to the Swiss Association for Quality (SAQ) and are currently in the recertification phase. These measures are further enhanced through ongoing training on technical, economic and regulatory issues.
As of 31 December 2020, VP Bank had client assets totalling CHF 47.4 billion, up 1.4 per cent from the previous year. It also held another CHF 7.4 billion in custody assets, bringing total client and custody assets to CHF 54.9 billion at the end of the reporting period (2019: CHF 54.5 billion). Overall, VP Bank Group recorded net new client money totalling CHF 1.4 billion.
Classification of client assets under management