According to Preqin data, there are a total of 109 wealth managers based in Switzerland, which is the largest of any other country in Europe. Private equity has proven to be a key alternative asset class for wealth managers to consider for their clients. The chart below shows a breakdown of the attitudes of Switzerland-based wealth managers towards private equity in the next 12 months. While a considerable proportion (61%) do not have any commitments to private equity vehicles, 25% are actively investing and 6% are considering making commitments.
In terms of the nature of service, 61% of firms offer both non-discretionary and discretionary services. Twenty-four percent of wealth managers provide discretionary services while 15% solely provide non-discretionary services.
The largest of these firms is Credit Suisse Private Banking & Wealth Management; the firm commits around $75bn and has a dedicated private equity team, catering for clients ranging from (ultra) high-net-worth individuals and family offices to small Swiss institutions and asset managers. The wealth manager invests in a broad range of private equity strategies, such as venture capital, growth capital, buyouts and distressed private equity. As of Q2 2014, Credit Suisse Private Banking & Wealth Management had an allocation to private equity of approximately 5%.