Expansion of our advisor teams and enhancement of advisory competence
In 2009, we recruited new private banking client advisors for our growth markets. In line with the changes and trends on the market, we further improved our advisory competence in the sphere of asset structuring, and added tax specialists to strengthen our team.
Our structured advisory approach enables us to provide our clients with even more comprehensive service. We strive to deliver outstanding service in the spirit of «Personal banking in perfection». In pursuing this goal we continually invest in further training and professional education for our staff. At the same time, we carry out regular quality audits to ensure our high standards of client care are maintained. Once again, an independent assessment of banks and asset managers in the form of undercover tests carried out by «Fuchsbriefe», the prestigious business and financial journal, confirmed that our specialists are among the best. In 2009, the LLB was among the top 20 asset managers in the German-speaking region. In addition to our structured advisory process, the experts praised our commitment to client care, the investment proposal, and the clear and comprehensive documentation provided.
Moreover, swisspartners Network AG achieved a good result in the «Elite Report». Every year, within the scope of this report, an international committee of specialists analyses and assesses the best banks and asset managers in Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Swisspartners was awarded the distinction «cum laude».
Stronger presence in growth markets
During the year under report, the setting up of Liechtensteinische Landesbank (Österreich) AG in Vienna stood at the centre of our expansion operations. The opening of the LLB Group's fourth bank in mid November 2009 proved to be a smooth addition to our business strategy. From Vienna we can deliver our services to the attractive Austrian market and also to the Central and Eastern European region. The newest LLB subsidiary is managed by Peter Mayer, who previously worked for our Group in Zurich from 2001 to 2006, and was recently chief executive office of a bank domiciled in Vienna. LLB (Österreich) AG commenced its business operations with 17 employees in November, although it is planned to expand the team to around 30 people in the first quarter of 2010. The bank has a very eminent location at Wipplingerstrasse 35 in Vienna's first district, directly opposite the old stock exchange in the «European Union House». This prestigious address was chosen for its central location and the fact that it offers reserves of space for future expansion.
The expansion of our international activities demands the continual modification of our organisation. Consequently, in the year under report, within the context of our business location strategy the market responsibilities were more clearly defined.
The intensification of our activities in the growth regions of Eastern Europe, as well as in the Near and Middle East is to be directed through Liechtensteinische Landesbank (Switzerland) Ltd. and through our representative offices in those markets.
In a first phase, Liechtensteinische Landesbank (Österreich) AG will penetrate the Austrian market. In a second phase, we shall focus on Eastern Europe from our business base in Vienna. Our headquarters in Vaduz will concentrate on actively caring for existing clients and on the expansion of the markets in Eastern Europe. In order to better coordinate the business activities of the individual Group companies in the target markets and to take full advantage of synergies, further resources will be made available and organisational measures will be implemented.
Strict compliance with the relevant national and foreign standards and provisions forms the essential basis for sustainable cross-border banking business. Accordingly, we paid particular attention to compliance issues in 2009.
Extension of product and service offerings
The demand for tax-optimised investment opportunities has risen sharply. Taking into consideration the continuing debate concerning taxation issues, it can be assumed that this trend is set to continue. Providing this kind of advice to clients is complicated and requires professional knowledge and a profound grounding in taxation policies in the individual country of domicile. In this area as well, we can call on recognised specialists from within the LLB Group. The further strengthening of this international taxation expertise will continue to be a strategic priority.
In 2009, we adapted our services and client care procedures for the various markets, and we developed additional tax-compatible products.