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Françoise Neige and Aurélie Jaclot : « a major cultural change encourages women to manage their own wealth »

Be a bank that is committed to women is the goal of Pictet, the Swiss bank, which has launched an offer of wealth management dedicated specifically to women.

Article also available in : English EN | français FR

Francoise Neige, Director of Wealth Management, Pictet and Aurelie Jaclot, Wealth Manager at Pictet, answered our questions.

Next-finance : Could you introduce Pictet as well as your activities in wealth management? ?

Françoise Neige and Aurélie Jaclot : The bank Pictet, founded in 1805, in Geneva, is today one of the largest global private independent banks, with about 300 billion euros worth of assets under management and administration as at the end of September 2011. The bank is a legal partnership which currently has eight partners all of whom are jointly and severally liable for the commitments of the group. Today we have over 3000 employees in over twenty offices worldwide, including key global financial centers.

Why are you launching this offer specifically aimed at women? Are there specific private banking needs and aspirations applicable to women. or is it more a marketing ploy on your part?

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Françoise Neige

This is by no means a marketing ploy. Our offer addresses the private banking needs and values of women either through financial planning ( estate planning and financial management) or through some of our additional services (real estate, art, insurance, tax returns, private offices, etc..). It is important to note that our offer incorporates the family situation of our clients, in particular their children, which is essential to all estate planning. But over and above this range of services, Pictet Bank is committed to women through the establishment of relational contracts and on-going training.

Women who have large estates, often forge their identity around so-called "traditional" values where the largest budgetary considerations (rent, loan repayments, investments, and pensions) lie more in the domain of the man in the family. Would it not be a pre-requisite to have a major cultural shift before women take charge of their own wealth?

We believe that a major cultural change is already encouraging these women to look after and manage their own affairs.

We are aware that the clients targeted by our offer, are those who expect customised, independent and global management of their wealth. They are women who are generally responsible, on a daily basis, for their budget and personally responsible for the management of their own wealth.

Although their main focus in life is centered around the basics, (children, family home, work) their desire is just as importantly, to grow their wealth based on a philosophy which combines the need for long term security with short term enjoyment.

In developed countries, women live, on average, 6 times longer than men. What implications does this fact have on the necessity to earn additional income ?

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Aurélie Jaclot

We take cognisance of this fact in our offer. This is why we are implementing a financial plan which aims to assure our clients of the sustainability of their financial independence, whilst taking into account their tax considerations, their lifestyle, their short-term considerations as well as any long-term planning. Moreover, on this latter issue, we suggest allocation of their assets which takes into account a risk profile tailored to the individual, with particular reference to life expectancy and not only the expectancy of high returns.

In an ever evolving world of finance, with more complex products on the market and more and more diverse strategies, how do you help guide these women to investments which they understand?

In order to answer this question, we must say again, that the relational contract forms the heart of the confidential relationship that Pictet hopes to create with its clients. Moreover, when opening an account, we set up what we call a "calendar relationship" which plans different meetings that we intend to hold on a regular basis with the client, in the form of telephonic contact, regular meetings and attendance of training courses linked to wealth management. These meetings provide us with the opportunity to inform and educate our clients about investments.

Our team, based in Paris is made up of several wealth management professionals (private bankers, portfolio managers and consultants in estate planning)
Françoise Neige and Aurélie Jaclot

From a recent HSBC study "Future of Retirement - The future of pensioners", 59% of French women, as opposed to 40% of men, say they are "cautious" in their investment behaviour, even if it means sacrificing performance. What do you suggest in terms of portfolio construction and asset allocation to conservative women? What is your track record given investor profiles ?

The Bank’s business model advocates both preservation and appreciation of the client;s’ capital assets. We apply the same principle to our offer to women. The investment process proposed is, as such, based on a balance between return and tailored risk, adapted personally for each of our clients. Our team, based in Paris is made up of several wealth management professionals (private bankers, portfolio managers and consultants in estate planning). We focus on consistency of performance.

Could one finally talk of your offer as coming from a socially responsible perspective?

It is not from a socially responsible perspective, although we could take this dimension into consideration when dealing with investment choices for our clients

RF , December 2011

Article also available in : English EN | français FR

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