What does your award for “Best Private Banking Services Overall 2019" in Euromoney's Private Banking Survey represent?
It is just a testament of the hard work and effort of all our colleagues around the world. It is recognition of how we have conducted our business, putting clients and their interests first. Although the award is given out yearly, this not the result of a good year but rather the culmination of initiatives and practices that we continuously strive to achieve.
How is this being translated into your Panamanian operations for almost 45 years?
Panama might not be the first location that comes to mind when you talk about UBS. Nevertheless, we have a one-bank approach where we are committed to uphold the standards and level of service our clients have come to expect. This approach, and the performance and level of service of UBS in places such as Panama, is one of the main reasons why we are continuously recognized as the best private bank globally. Our goal is to provide the same high level of service whether a client comes to our office in New York, Zurich, or Panama.
During UBS' time in Panama, how have your main sectors of operation changed, if at all?
We do business a different way. We do not focus on selling specific products or services, but rather on providing the best wealth management services to our clients. This allows us to remain flexible and continuously improve our offering in order to make sure that we achieve our goal. Our main stakeholders have always been and will always be our clients.
Which are the preferred global partners for the Panamanian market?
We focus on our clients. That is why we strive to be booking center neutral. We do not try to push clients to book in Europe or the US but rather provide them with viable alternatives in most major markets and allow them to make the decision that best fits their needs. Our preferred global partners are the clients' preferred global partners.
How do you plan to increase your market share in the country?
We depend on our people and their commitment to the principles and pillars of the bank. Simply put, we have the most talented and hardworking group of colleagues in the region. We provide them with all the support and assistance of the UBS global platform and allow them to get to work. This is the reason that UBS has stayed in business locally for over 50 years while our major competitors have come and gone.
Can you tell us more about your expected results in terms of sustainable investing?
It is definitely a major factor in many clients' decisions and investment strategy. We do not push clients in one direction or another but rather provide them with the best alternative in whatever direction they decide to go. Sustainable investing is no different. Our clients have shown an increased interest and appetite for this sector over the last five years, and we have been pioneers in introducing products, services, and investments that deal with sustainable investments to clients. We are one of the only banks, if not the only, to offer an investment fund 100% dedicated to investing in companies that deal with sustainability.
What are the main goals for 2019?
In real estate it is location, location, location. For us, it is clients, clients, clients. We are the best at what we do, and if we remain focused on our clients and their well-being the rest will come together easily. Our focus is to provide the best possible wealth management service to all of our clients. We do not want our clients to see us as another big bank; we want to be a partner to help them reach and meet their financial goals in a structured and responsible way.