«Believing in the ZWEI proposition – from its beginning»
An interview with Sergije Franges, Partner at ZWEI Wealth
You joined almost 5 years ago as the first consultant in Zurich. When you look back to 2015 when you joined, what was your motivation to join ZWEI Wealth?
I was not happy with my private banking career. Not only because of the lack of time for my customers, but the overall approach of the institutions. As a banker and advisor in such an organisation, you cannot really put the customer first. So, I started looking for something different but I had to realize that there were no options to be found to take care of the biggest concern I had. Then I learned of ZWEI Wealth, a concept I had never heard of, nor thought of myself, and I was immediately attracted by it. The ability to consult clients on their wealth using the ZWEI system and making the best use of my knowledge and experience – this really convinced me.
Back then, it was the start up time of ZWEI. How was it when there were only 3-4 people in office?
It was a really exciting time - a small group of professionals were trying to establish something new and useful. But obviously, we now have a much better structure, supporting material and system. Back then things were done much more ad hoc and we were in development figuring out who exactly our clients should be and what is the best offering for them. All in all, I look back on those days with fondness, but I am very happy about the way ZWEI developed in the meantime.
What is different in your daily work today from your activities back at banks?
First of all, the feeling is different! We are convinced of doing something that is really useful for the client. Here, as a partner, I have the opportunity to influence things. I can drive the way my clients are served but also participate in the further development of the ZWEI approach. I can shape things for clients and all my time is directed towards clients.
How do you define good wealth management?
The way ZWEI has developed has definitely formed my thinking on this. Today, I would say that good wealth management is a structured, transparent and easy to understand approach to meeting client needs and delivering results. Good wealth management also looks at the latest developments in the theory and practice and constantly evaluates if this means any adjustments in the approach.
What do you hear from your clients as a change for them?
The main feedback I get is that finally, they can compare and situate where they are and what the issues are which need to be addressed. Before that, they just had to rely on trust but now they have the hard facts in addition. They feel much more in control and doing the right thing.
How do you experience the banks and asset managers in this set-up? Do they like to cooperate with you?
On the surface the cooperation works very well though sometimes I wondered what they really think of us – are we some kind of competitor, which we don’t want to be. I now believe they realise that ZWEI is an established player in the market and that more and more of their own clients will make use of such services. They see the trend and the positive effect for the clients, and they adapt to it, meaning – they improve. Yes, it might be annoying to them having somebody checking what they do. Nevertheless, the good banks and asset managers understand that they stand to gain new business thanks to the existence of ZWEI.
What ZWEI moment do you remember the most?
There were many nice moments with the clients, where you see that you are doing something useful and important for them. But perhaps the most memorable moments are the ones together with the ZWEI team. We have a real partnership with the others.
Finally, some either or questions:
Risk or return?
Risk. I believe the first priority for most people is not to lose money.
ETF or single lines?
Single lines. I trust in managers being able to construct a portfolio of single lines well.
Apple or Google?
Apple, mostly because I use their products.
Sunrise or Swisscom?
Swisscom, they have a better coverage.
Beer or wine?
Wine. It is theoretically healthier.
Cinema or Netflix?
Cinema. The movie theatre provides a unique experience.
Fast or exact?
Although both are important, let me put myself more on the exact side, I like quality.