The provision of knowledge and the exchange of information between employees, clients and external partners is constantly gaining in importance. To provide our clients with structured, well-founded knowledge and to intensify interaction with them, in November 2013, we launched our «LLB Xpert views» online platform. Among other services, this innovative portal provides intermediaries and institutional clients with access to information that was previously only available internally at the bank. The LLB Group is therefore presenting its clients with a competitive lead. This unique information portal, which concentrates on the fields of investment, law and taxation, provides a comprehensive overview of current developments. Our guiding idea is to strengthen the cooperation with our clients in the Liechtenstein financial center.
Our Asset Management Business Sector provides the asset management for 35 funds as well as for individual portfolios. In 2013, we introduced a portfolio analysis tool based on our well-proven LLB strategies. This enables us to support our advisors, who tailor the investment strategies exactly and personally to suit the objectives and risk preferences of each client. In terms of technical investment expertise, we have available an excellent scope of knowledge, and we are continually committing resources to broadening and deepening our know-how. Furthermore, we have also enhanced our range of funds, our risk management and our quantitative-value-based analysis model.
Our concept is proving its worth. We have achieved very good independent ratings for many years. Once again in 2013, the LLB’s strategy funds were among the market leaders in long-term competition comparison. For example, «GELD», the Austrian journal for financial professionals, selected the LLB Strategy Yield (EUR) and the LLB Strategy Growth (EUR) funds for an umbrella award each in November 2013. Both funds came in third in the three- year category. In the one-year comparison, the mixed umbrella fund LLB Strategy Growth was ranked second. Our Asset Management also received the best rating for these two funds from the «FUCHS Performance Project», a test service for asset managers. We were awarded the excellent second place among 30 competitors.
The capital volumes invested in LLB funds posted a very positive development in 2013 rising by 9.4 percent to CHF 4.6 billion by the end of December. The Swiss fund market climbed by merely 4.7 percent. In 2014, the Asset and Product Management Institutional Clients Business Sector will enhance its investment competence and expand its range of funds internationally.
The Fund Services Business Sector represents an important growth driver for the LLB. Our fund management company, LLB Fund Services AG, sets up made-to-measure funds for independent asset managers and other fund promoters, such as family offices. As a specialist for private label funds, we are constantly extending our range of services. In 2013, we formulated and successfully implemented new possibilities for structuring tax-transparent family wealth. Demand for special funds remains high and funds as structuring instruments are showing great potential. We offer innovative solutions for the most varied requirements of investors, always ensuring high quality and flexibility.
As a depositary for third-party funds, we also possess a proven track record of expertise in the management and administration of complex fund mandates having different strategies and investment markets. Many of our advisors can call on decades of experience.
To further improve our competitive edge, in 2013, we substantially increased our level of automation and refined our risk management. At the same time, we are well positioned to operate in the EU and Swiss economic areas. In 2013, we paid particular attention to the new Swiss legal provisions – the revised collective investment law (KAG) came into force on 1 March 2013 – and were able to formulate individual solutions for our clients. The European AIFM (Alternative Investment Fund Managers) directive, which implements the EU passport for alternative funds, made it necessary for the Swiss fund law to be revised. The EU regulations specify how alternative investments such as hedge funds and private equity investments are to be treated. Since, as an EEA state, Liechtenstein had already implemented the AIFM directive in autumn 2012, the LLB Group was able to gain relevant know-how at an early date in order to promote itself as a specialist vendor of alternative funds. In 2013, we submitted an application to the Liechtenstein Financial Market Authority (FMA) to be licensed as an alternative investment fund manager.
Developments in the fund industry are extremely cyclical; their performance depends heavily on events in the financial markets. In 2013, clients proved to be very cost conscious when launching new funds. Nevertheless, the LLB Group succeeded in launching new private label funds and gained a substantial structuring mandate in the form of several private label funds totalling around CHF 750 million. As a custodian bank, the LLB gained 32 new mandates. At the end of 2013, the LLB was serving as a custodian bank for 239 funds, and measured against the number of mandates it holds, it is the clear market leader in Liechtenstein. In 2014, we shall improve our innovative power by exploiting our clients’ treasure trove of experience more widely.
Financial intermediaries and external asset managers
The LLB Group is distinguished by its focus on and closeness to clients. For many years it has proved itself to be a reliable, trustworthy and professional partner. This applies in particular to the team of experts who take care of fiduciaries, lawyers, and external asset managers in Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Financial intermediaries expect not only a direct, personal contact partner, high service quality and investment expertise, but also up-to-date information about regulatory and investment policy themes as well as open and transparent communication.
Regulatory changes have brought more complexity and added costs for banks and intermediaries. It is a challenge for small and medium-sized financial intermediaries to keep up with the pace of change in the regulatory framework. To support them, we already implemented organisational changes in 2012. The transfer of knowledge and an extensive network of relationships with external partners are of particular importance to intermediaries. In this respect, our new «LLB Xpert views» online platform creates particular added value for this client group. It connects the digital to the classical financial world. Since 2013, we have been offering small and medium-sized trust companies partner-like relationships in asset management. Furthermore, we have implemented process optimisations and introduced a scoring model to actively manage risks. We always put quality before quantity.
In 2013, we significantly increased the intensity of our advice to intermediaries and independent asset managers. The requirement for more detailed information expanded as a result of the new withholding tax treaty between Liechtenstein and Austria (see the chapter «»), which came into force in 2014. The treaty encompasses the legitimisation of assets both in the past and in the future.
With the aim of further improving our care and service quality, we improved our client segmentation model in 2013. To enhance our competitiveness and increase efficiency, we are focusing on preferred partners and their networks. So that we ascertain their needs and requirements exactly, we have established a feedback process. In the knowledge that innovation with services is vital, in 2014 we shall carry out proactive portfolio analyses and issue consolidated statements of assets for large client groups.