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Significance

Asset management is a cornerstone of the Swiss financial sector and of great importance to the economy as a whole in terms of providing security and stability for pension schemes, helping people to achieve their savings goals, and ensuring that the economy is funded efficiently.

Key contributor to pensions

Asset management makes a substantial contribution to strengthening the pension system. In Switzerland, as in other countries, an aging population means that demand for pension solutions is the leading driver of growth in the asset management industry. Asset managers play a vital role in maintaining a healthy and sustainable pension system through professional, cost-effective management of pension fund assets and related risk management. They offer solutions to the problem of making up ever larger pension shortfalls, a trend that is set to gather pace in the coming years.

Interface between investors and the real economy

Asset management also constitutes a central interface between investors and the real economy. Asset managers channel savings into the real economy to fund businesses and infrastructure projects. In fact, they hold around 25% of listed companies’ bonds and nearly 40% of their shares in circulation. This is an important and welcome alternative to funding via classic bank loans.

Intermediary function

By taking people’s money and investing it on their behalf, asset managers take on an intermediary or agent function. They neither own the assets they are investing nor enter into any counterparty risks. Asset managers thus make their expertise in the areas of investment and risk management available to the real economy without giving rise to any systemic risks. Of course, they are not immune to reputation risks or operational errors, but the collapse of an asset manager does not represent a systemic risk because the mandates and assets affected can easily be transferred.