Pictet targets tax efficiency to boost Spanish funds business
Pictet Wealth Management says it is able to build market share in Spain because of its ability to manage foreign accounts on behalf of local clients.
Spain differs from other southern European markets for its unique tax system, which makes Spanish Sicavs and mutual funds the most common investment vehicles. Transfers between funds do not have a fiscal impact, according to Luis Sánchez de Lamadrid (pictured), managing director of Pictet Wealth Management (WM) in Spain.
“We consider the use of funds and Sicavs as preferential, as they are fiscally efficient and in Spain they allow to defer taxes up to 27% for capital gains of €24,000. We select chosen funds, based on an open architecture, which have to be best in their segments,” Sánchez says.
In terms of fund selection, Pictet has a team of 21 professionals based in Switzerland, in charge of reaching agreements with fund managers.
No product placing
“Our bankers have no product placement objectives, as opposed to 80% to 90% of institutions in Spain. We provide banking services and do not sell products, despite Pictet AM having differentiated excellent global funds. In a portfolio with 20 funds, only two or three are managed by Pictet AM,” he adds. Sánchez joined Pictet in February 2011 from Swiss group BSI, having previously worked at UBS Spain.
In the past months, the Spanish branch of the company, established in 2003, has been growing. Four bankers were appointed in 2011, and Ignacio Lopez Romeu of Sagredo joined Pictet from UBS at the beginning of 2012, making a total of 20 people in two offices in Madrid and Barcelona. In Spain, Pictet targets mainly high-net-worth individuals, with assets between €2m and €10m.