Falcon Private Bank AG is a Swiss private bank specializing in wealth management and related financial services, headquartered in Zurich. The bank was founded 1965 as Ueberseebank and was then renamed to AIG Private Bank in 1998. Following a change of ownership, the name Falcon Private Bank was launched in 2009. Falcon Private Bank is owned by the Abu Dhabi State Fund. Besides Zurich, Falcon Private Bank has offices in Dubai, London and Luxembourg.
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Philosophy and Strategy
The strategy of Falcon Private Bank is to be a digital bank offering crypto asset management. The new strategy is based on one of the decisive trends in banking right now. Falcon Private Bank wants to meet clients demand that is emerging and differentiating itself from the others. Falcon Private Bank is targeting the ultra-high net worth and entrepreneur segments.
Falcon Private Bank has to become more active on the private banking front, and the bank has defined specific growth targets, which includes hiring private bankers and looking at potential acquisitions of client’s assets.
Falcon Private Bank’s vision is to offer their discerning customers a unique experience, which is characterized by the combination of personal competence and first-class digital intelligence.
The bank’s values are:
Reputation & Performance
Commitment & Authorization
Collaboration & Team Spirit
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Services and Solutions
Falcon Private Bank is focusing on roughly 15 markets, including Europe, Britain, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Russia.
Falcon Private Bank’s services are tailored to the client’s needs and are smart, agile and fast. The bank’s world-class financial solutions give the client the opportunity to realize their personal financial goals with a whole new experience: banking convenience, everywhere and every time. The client’s needs are the source of Falcon’s services.
If the client wants to control the transactions at any time without restrictions, then the self-directed services are the best choice. The customer can transact their transactions through their e-banking account or Falcon’s experienced dealers.
As a professional customer, Falcon’s experienced dealers give direct access to global markets, 20 hours a day, six days a week (including Sunday trading on the UAE market).
The client can optimize the cash management or leverage to increase revenue. The standard loan offer includes securities loans (i.e., Lombard loans) and margin-based secured trade.
Also, Falcon offers personalized loan solutions to meet the special financing needs of high net worth clients. These include, for example, single-stock loans and loans against non-liquid assets.
Blockchain Asset Management
Falcon Group is the first Swiss private bank to offer its customers access to blockchain asset management solutions in cooperation with Bitcoin Suisse AG. Currently, there are over 1’000 different cryptocurrencies, with Bitcoin and Ether being by far the most significant regarding market capitalization and acceptance.
Investment in Bitcoins, Ether, Litecoins and Bitcoin Cash without worrying about safekeeping
Purchase, safekeeping, and sale of blockchain assets
Management of assets converted from crypto assets
If the client likes to make his own investment decisions, but at the same time appreciates the comprehensive advice provided by a dedicated team of investment experts, then Falcon is the right partner. An active advisory client can benefit from personal and unbiased advice on various asset classes in industrial and emerging markets.
If the client values comfortable solutions in achieving his ambitious investment goals he finds the right solution from Falcon’s proven, actively managed strategy mandates, selected niche strategies or fully personalized mandates.
The client chooses the strategy that best suits the risk and return preferences to realize his personal financial goals. The rest is done by Falcon’s experienced investment management team.
The client is personalizing the strategy with his relationship manager. Falcon’s dedicated investment specialists customize the client’s portfolio according to the client’s needs, from construction to administration.
If the customer is looking for attractive investment opportunities in real estate, private equity, private debt or structuring solutions tailored to their needs, then Falcon’s experienced team of specialists, together with exclusive strategic partners in Europe and the USA, select unique direct investments.
Falcon offers a comprehensive fund selection. The bank’s fund business is located in Luxembourg, the leading domicile for fund services. Through Falcon’s subsidiary Falcon Fund Management (Luxembourg) S.A. the bank can also structure fund wrappers.
External Asset Managers
For External Asset Managers Falcon Private Bank is an agile and innovative partner who understands the needs precisely and offer suitable solutions and ideas promptly. Falcon is the primary contact and coordinates all EAM’s orders to minimize the administrative burden.
The Board of Directors has the responsibility for the overall risk of the bank, including the risk framework, the risk assessment, and the internal controls. They are reassessing the risk every year, especially the credit risk, the liquidity risk, and the operational risk. The Board also approves the risk policy and has the responsibility for the supervision of the implementation. The implementation is done by the Executive Board.
The ongoing monitoring and the risk management procedure are delegated to committees. The interest rate risk, the market, and the liquidity risk are monitored by the Asset & Liability Committee which also oversees the banks, custodians, and brokers.
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Falcon Private Bank is struggling with a cost base way above its earnings capacity. The bank was involved in the 1MBD scandal – with the alleged massive fraud at the Malaysian state fund. In 2016 the bank showed a loss of 128 mm CHF and in 2017 a loss of 28 mm CHF. The loss in 2016 was mainly a consequence of the liquidation of trading positions and investments. The loss in 2017, however, was mainly a matter of the ambitious strategy by the bank’s ex-bosses.
As a consequence of the scandal, Falcon Private Bank lost its banking license in Singapore. FINMA issued a fine, and the bank was forced to replace management and board and reinvent its strategy.
Falcon Private Bank broke with their past and after the management and board member changes, there effectively aren’t any more key people who have a link to the past. The intention is to create a completely new foundation for the bank.
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Few banks do not disclose their Annual Reports to the public. Therefore, we collected reliable information on a best-efforts basis. We renounced to collecting information from unreliable sources. Until today, Swiss law does not impose the duty of publication to the banks as it is the case in the EU. Therefore, for a few banks, the information from the annual reports was not summarized and published.
There are some smaller banks without a rating. It makes no sense for them to apply for a rating because they are not involved in the lending business. If the bank has no rating, it’s not automatically a negative point. There are excellent private banks without a rating.
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