The Management Board members of Wiener Privatbank about investment, material assets and their customer's needs.
Why is professional asset management so important today?
Eduard Berger: As a result of the global networking of markets, everything has become faster and more complex today. Nowadays, money flows across the globe within split seconds. Therefore, it has become highly important to have an active asset manager at one's side to help keep track of things.
But these days I can keep track of things just as well by consulting the internet. There are thousands of platforms that I can use to find out about investment strategies or analyses. Do I really still need a private bank?
Eduard Berger: For professionals who devote themselves exclusively to the markets all day, this is clearly an advantage. But for everyone else, which is the vast majority of people, such information overload is impossible to manage. Experts are needed to filter information, to draw the right conclusions and to process them for the clients. Additionally, there are many hoaxes circulating the internet.
So that means Wiener Privatbank provides orientation in this sometimes indiscriminate information flood?
Eduard Berger: Precisely. We know the markets and we know our customers. Because we take the time we need to find just the right solutions that will satisfy our customer's needs. Another important aspect in this context is our access to the international markets. As a result, we can operate on behalf of our customers on the market of their choosing.
Helmut Hardt: What matters here is time and competence. Allow me to use the following analogy: Of course you can steer your ship across the ocean by yourself. But when things become more turbulent and waves begin to lash the ship, everyone appreciates a professional on the bridge. The same applies to financial investment. In other words: We provide orientation on the markets and can react quickly in any weather. Speed of response is very important. And this is provided by professional asset management and professional investment consulting.
What sets Wiener Privatbank apart?
Eduard Berger: Excellent experts. There are most likely just a few players in Austrian real estate and stocks who have as much experience as we do. And the takeover of the Valartis business has added to the depth of our expertise. Particularly in terms of international private banking and the management of large assets, we are now better positioned than ever before.
Helmut Hardt: We complement each other perfectly and can add refinement to our exclusive offer with the know-how of the Valartis experts. As a boutique among private banks, we offer individual, comprehensive support. That's why our customers often sit right at the table with the professionals, so with the asset manager, the real estate expert etc. As a result, we can react to customer requests and develop special products very quickly. Knowing the markets isn't enough. We also need to know our customers: Their aims, their aspirations, their options and their willingness to take risks. We do not look for customers for our products – we look for the right product for our customers and that is something entirely different.
Eduard Berger: Consequently, an obvious effect has been that we have specialised in certain segments – namely material assets such as shares, investment funds and real estate – and that our experience and experts in this area are well received.
Why material assets of all things?
Helmut Hardt: History shows that there is no way around material assets if you want to a) maintain existing capital and b) achieve a return, too. This holds all the more true particularly in the low-interest phase we are currently in, which appears likely to be staying around for a long time yet. Therefore, real estate and equity interests or shares must be a fixed element of asset allocation. Wiener Privatbank provides precisely these skills.
But now I can also buy shares from online brokers and real estate from any random agent. What additional benefit does Wiener Privatbank offer?
Eduard Berger: We stand by our customers throughout all market cycles and life situations, develop investment ideas for them which we then subject to regular checks. Sustainable support and regular monitoring of investment ideas is something only a private bank like we are will offer.
Helmut Hardt: The same holds true for the real estate sector. In this context, we search for the project that suits our customers best, we check how well it fits into the customer's overall portfolio and may even advise against a certain investment if it fails muster. So we take our customers by the hand and provide each of them intensive support. In addition, there is the 360° expertise of our service subsidiaries in real estate.
Is there also access to products or asset classes I, as an ordinary person, would otherwise not qualify for?
Helmut Hardt: Of course. Thanks to our market access and our many years of private bank expertise, we can develop and offer special products that would not be available otherwise. We are often pioneers in this context – for the benefit of our customers.
What type of customer is Wiener Privatbank the appropriate partner for?
Eduard Berger: We have a strong entrepreneurial background: in terms of the proprietors, the management and also our subsidiaries. We understand our customer's wishes, needs and problems very well, because we see things through the same lense.
Helmut Hardt: Above all, our customers are interested in in-depth advice and regular professional exchange because they want to walk through the markets with us actively. This applies equally to the capital market sector and the real estate business. Just people who attach importance to advice and alternative investment models when it comes to building and maintaining their assets.