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Old 02.02.2014, 06:54
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How to get a job in private wealth management ?

Hello all,

I have extensively searched the forum and didn't find any posts about recruiting for private wealth management in Switzerland. Anyone here works or worked in this industry ?

I am currently pursuing my MBA in the USA and would like to find a job as a associate / private banker / relationship manager in a Swiss bank that has a Latam "desk".

Here in the USA most of the banks recruit in the top 10 biz-schools and hire MBAs to work as associates & relationship managers, regardless if the person has or hasn't previous experience in PWM.

How I should network in CH to land an interview ? I am trying to define the best way to approach the potential employers since I don't have previous experience in PWM.

I appreciate any comments & insights, whether positive or negative.

Thank you !
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Old 02.02.2014, 07:10
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Re: How to get a job in private wealth management ?

One of the biggest hurdles will be to get a work permit... And if the initiative goes through this weekend which wants to restrict immigrants then. It might get a bit challenging ...my two bits ..
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Old 02.02.2014, 08:34
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Re: How to get a job in private wealth management ?

i landed a 6months stage in PWM latam when i joined the bank as a graduate in IT and did a rotation. maybe u can do this

I thought i would love to deal with clients from my country but the job is monotonous and not very rewarding on a personal level. so i chose to go back to IT. on the other hand the other employees were awesome people
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Old 02.02.2014, 10:50
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Re: How to get a job in private wealth management ?

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Hello all,

I have extensively searched the forum and didn't find any posts about recruiting for private wealth management in Switzerland. Anyone here works or worked in this industry ?

I am currently pursuing my MBA in the USA and would like to find a job as a associate / private banker / relationship manager in a Swiss bank that has a Latam "desk".

Here in the USA most of the banks recruit in the top 10 biz-schools and hire MBAs to work as associates & relationship managers, regardless if the person has or hasn't previous experience in PWM.

How I should network in CH to land an interview ? I am trying to define the best way to approach the potential employers since I don't have previous experience in PWM.

I appreciate any comments & insights, whether positive or negative.

Thank you !
How many official Swiss languages do you speak fluently?
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Old 02.02.2014, 12:01
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Re: How to get a job in private wealth management ?

You get a job in private wealth management in Switzerland...

...by first establishing yourself in the US, building a successful track record and an impressive list of clients and connections.


Let's face it - as an American in the present climate, you represent a liability to many of the types of clients the Swiss private wealth management industry serves. Without experience or track record, what value do you bring that would balance those risks to convince a Swiss bank to take you on? What value to you bring that your CH/EU competition do not? Focus on that.

Honestly, at this point you would likely be better off focusing your career within the US, or in South/Central America if that is an area of interest. Look to get hired by a bank in the US that also has a presence in Switzerland, working towards a transfer in years ahead after you have proven yourself.

There is more going on in other markets, more opportunities elsewhere for a young person starting out.

Good luck.
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Old 02.02.2014, 17:07
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Re: How to get a job in private wealth management ?

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One of the biggest hurdles will be to get a work permit... And if the initiative goes through this weekend which wants to restrict immigrants then. It might get a bit challenging ...my two bits ..
Hi Zanskar. My fault, I should have mentioned that I am not a US citizen and I have EU citzenship. Assuming the referendum is negated, then work permit should not be a problem, correct ?

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You get a job in private wealth management in Switzerland...

...by first establishing yourself in the US, building a successful track record and an impressive list of clients and connections.


Let's face it - as an American in the present climate, you represent a liability to many of the types of clients the Swiss private wealth management industry serves. Without experience or track record, what value do you bring that would balance those risks to convince a Swiss bank to take you on? What value to you bring that your CH/EU competition do not? Focus on that.

Honestly, at this point you would likely be better off focusing your career within the US, or in South/Central America if that is an area of interest. Look to get hired by a bank in the US that also has a presence in Switzerland, working towards a transfer in years ahead after you have proven yourself.

There is more going on in other markets, more opportunities elsewhere for a young person starting out.

Good luck.
Hello Meloncollie,

Thanks for the insights. Do you work in PWM ? Out of curiosity, where is your client network located ?

I should have mentioned earlier that I am not a US citizen. I am from South Smerica and wanted to deal with HNW and UHNW clients from my home country.

I agree with what you say, but as I mentioned before, at least within the american banks, and including UBS and Credit Suisse in the US, they do hire associates out of the MBA with no previous book of clients or experience.

Since most of the PWM banks in CH have a latam desk, I would guess they have the same needs ? My value proposition for the either an US or CH bank would be basically the same.
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Old 02.02.2014, 17:10
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Re: How to get a job in private wealth management ?

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How many official Swiss languages do you speak fluently?
Hi fatmanfilms,

As far as I have been searching, local language is not a issue, unless it is a very small boutique bank.
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Old 02.02.2014, 18:03
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Re: How to get a job in private wealth management ?

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Hi fatmanfilms,

As far as I have been searching, local language is not a issue, unless it is a very small boutique bank.
Well all the wealth managers I have had contact with spoke fluent French, German & English, so just speaking English will put you at a huge disadvantage if you going to be speaking face to face with clients v a Swiss hire. Especially so as your looking for an entry level position..........
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Old 02.02.2014, 18:19
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Re: How to get a job in private wealth management ?

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How many official Swiss languages do you speak fluently?
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Well all the wealth managers I have had contact with spoke fluent French, German & English, so just speaking English will put you at a huge disadvantage if you going to be speaking face to face with clients v a Swiss hire. Especially so as your looking for an entry level position..........
Hi fatmanfilms,

Sorry, maybe I was not clear in my original post. The clients I will be speaking to are only those from my home country. In CH you have PWM desks for each main market (e.g. Russia, Latam, Arabic countries, etc.).

At least on UBS I sure that they only require English and the language of the market you will be working with.
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Old 02.02.2014, 19:06
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Re: How to get a job in private wealth management ?

Capo even though you are not a US citizen, are you a 'US person' as defined by those loveable folks at the IRS?

If so, the same issues apply - so it might be prudent to wait to look for a job in Switzerland until you have cut all ties with the US completely.

As you have EU citizenship the door is wide open (well, at least until the 9 Feb. vote ) so your chances are far better. Make sure you the first thing those you are networking with hear is that you are an EU citizen, and the second that you are neither an American nor a 'US person'.

(Case in point was your first post in this thread - unintentional, but the way you wrote the post left the impression you were an American, and so many of us dismissed you out of hand. Doing that in Real Life would be shooting yourself in the foot. )

Your US education will be very much respected, that's not a worry.

But why Switzerland? In the financial industry salaries are lower in Switzerland than NY and London, chances for growth more limited.

Unless you have personal reasons to want to move here right away, I would still stand by my recommendation to start your career elsewhere first.

Anyway, best of luck to you.


(I'm just a Hausfrau, btw. )
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Old 02.02.2014, 19:07
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Re: How to get a job in private wealth management ?

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i landed a 6months stage in PWM latam when i joined the bank as a graduate in IT and did a rotation. maybe u can do this

I thought i would love to deal with clients from my country but the job is monotonous and not very rewarding on a personal level. so i chose to go back to IT. on the other hand the other employees were awesome people
Hey makaTony, thanks for the insight !

Can you PM me the bank where you did the rotation in PWM ? I would really appreciate !
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Old 02.02.2014, 19:59
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Re: How to get a job in private wealth management ?

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Capo even though you are not a US citizen, are you a 'US person' as defined by those loveable folks at the IRS?

If so, the same issues apply - so it might be prudent to wait to look for a job in Switzerland until you have cut all ties with the US completely.

As you have EU citizenship the door is wide open (well, at least until the 9 Feb. vote ) so your chances are far better. Make sure you the first thing those you are networking with hear is that you are an EU citizen, and the second that you are neither an American nor a 'US person'.

(Case in point was your first post in this thread - unintentional, but the way you wrote the post left the impression you were an American, and so many of us dismissed you out of hand. Doing that in Real Life would be shooting yourself in the foot. )

Your US education will be very much respected, that's not a worry.

But why Switzerland? In the financial industry salaries are lower in Switzerland than NY and London, chances for growth more limited.

Unless you have personal reasons to want to move here right away, I would still stand by my recommendation to start your career elsewhere first.

Anyway, best of luck to you.


(I'm just a Hausfrau, btw. )
Hi meloncollie,

Again, thanks again for the insights.

Luckily I have no ties with the IRS right now.

Yes, I am aware that it is important to mention I am not a US citizen/person while looking for a job in CH, mainly if I am looking to work in the financial industry. In the past I always thought that having an American passport was a good advantage in many ways... Looks like it is not the case in CH...

The main reason I want to move to CH is that I want to work with offshore private wealth management and CH is only second to the US.

Also, in CH the base salaries are higher (although not the bonuses), the tax rate is lower and you have 5 weeks of vacation rather then 2 or 3 per year. Compared to NYC where income tax can be 40% and the rent for a 1-dormitory in Manhattan can be US$3000, CH looks much more appealing.

Additionally, I have some ties to that country the borders CH on the south.

Anyway, thanks a lot and hope to receive more insight from the members of this outstanding forum !
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Old 03.02.2014, 08:30
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Re: How to get a job in private wealth management ?

Have you done any internships at banks in the US so far?

Having worked in the UHNW arena it is far more a case of who you know and not what you know - as you appear to not know anyone - you may struggle.
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Old 03.02.2014, 10:45
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Re: How to get a job in private wealth management ?

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<snip>
Also, in CH the base salaries are higher (although not the bonuses), the tax rate is lower and you have 5 weeks of vacation rather then 2 or 3 per year. Compared to NYC where income tax can be 40% and the rent for a 1-dormitory in Manhattan can be US$3000, CH looks much more appealing.
<snip>
Income taxes may be lower, but VAT makes up the difference as I understand it. (I'll defer to the locals on the amount, but I recall it being fairly high)

With regards to flats, check homegate.ch; you may be surprised at how "cheap" the smaller accommodations are ;-)

(And with regards to NYC, I lived in a VERY nice part of Brooklyn (Arguably the most expensive) and was paying $2600 for a 1200 square foot apartment; palatial and cheap compared to the price point of what you would get for that same amount in CHFs in der Schweiz.. You sure you wanna discount NYC? ;-) )
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Old 03.02.2014, 11:23
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Re: How to get a job in private wealth management ?

If you're currently studying in the US, you're probably a "US-person".

Even someone who doesn't reside in the US, but has spent "more than 30 days in the current year or more than 183 days in the current year and the two preceding it" in the US is considered a "non-resident alien", whatever that might mean. There's a special tick box for that in the paperwork banks make you sign when you open an account here.
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Old 03.02.2014, 12:25
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Re: How to get a job in private wealth management ?

Have you got a business case:
Can you bring in net new assets of CHF 30m a year for 3 years from your network as a minimum?
Are you prepared to sign a contract which allows you to be fired if you are not living up to the above?

The above is the minimum at least one of the large Swiss banks will ask for from an MBA associate hire.
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Old 03.02.2014, 23:09
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Re: How to get a job in private wealth management ?

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Have you done any internships at banks in the US so far?

Having worked in the UHNW arena it is far more a case of who you know and not what you know - as you appear to not know anyone - you may struggle.
That's why I came here to ask questions about how is the PWM employment in CH.
Here in the US they hire you even though you "don't know" people, but they are expecting you to have a decent number of clients (or better, decent AUM) when you're in your third year. It's a tough job, not many survive in long run, but I believe it's a question of return & risk. I am still single, no kids, so now it's the time to take risks... I'll work my ass off to be successful, try to do my best, but if don't work out, it was part of life-learning process.
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Old 03.02.2014, 23:14
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Re: How to get a job in private wealth management ?

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Income taxes may be lower, but VAT makes up the difference as I understand it. (I'll defer to the locals on the amount, but I recall it being fairly high)

With regards to flats, check homegate.ch; you may be surprised at how "cheap" the smaller accommodations are ;-)

(And with regards to NYC, I lived in a VERY nice part of Brooklyn (Arguably the most expensive) and was paying $2600 for a 1200 square foot apartment; palatial and cheap compared to the price point of what you would get for that same amount in CHFs in der Schweiz.. You sure you wanna discount NYC? ;-) )
But for instance, if you work in investment baking in wall street, you MUST live close to work to withstand the 100+ hours/week. And then you have no choice but to rent a US$3k place in Manhattan.

Income tax you always pay, whereas VAT you only pay if you consume.

Yes, I have been checking homegate for some time and on average, for the same commuting time, the rent in Zurich is cheaper.
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Old 03.02.2014, 23:15
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Re: How to get a job in private wealth management ?

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Have you got a business case:
Can you bring in net new assets of CHF 30m a year for 3 years from your network as a minimum?
Are you prepared to sign a contract which allows you to be fired if you are not living up to the above?

The above is the minimum at least one of the large Swiss banks will ask for from an MBA associate hire.
Sounds about the same as here in the USA.

Sent you a PM
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Old 04.02.2014, 09:16
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Re: How to get a job in private wealth management ?

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Income taxes may be lower, but VAT makes up the difference as I understand it. (I'll defer to the locals on the amount, but I recall it being fairly high)

With regards to flats, check homegate.ch; you may be surprised at how "cheap" the smaller accommodations are ;-)

(And with regards to NYC, I lived in a VERY nice part of Brooklyn (Arguably the most expensive) and was paying $2600 for a 1200 square foot apartment; palatial and cheap compared to the price point of what you would get for that same amount in CHFs in der Schweiz.. You sure you wanna discount NYC? ;-) )
Erm VAT is 8% in CH. I rent a comparable apartment near the centre of Zürich (walkable to anywhere you would want to go or 7 minutes on the train to the HB) for a similar rent.

Capo I haven't received a PM. Btw you are also too late for the main associate intake for July 2014. Applications opened in September and closed by Christmas. I guess internships might just still be open.
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