It’s not just Asga that’s turning 60 – you too have a big birthday this year, making you both the same age.
I’m actually the first Chairman to be younger than Asga itself – even though it’s just by a matter of a few days.
What impresses you about Asga?
Asga has been through various financial-market corrections in recent times. The irrational nature of the financial markets was particularly clear to see in December 2018, and then in March 2020 due to Covid-19. It’s in these stressful situations that you see how stable an entity is.
There's still plenty of scope for creative ideas in terms of doing things slightly better.
What was your image of Asga prior to becoming Chairman? What appeal did it have for you?
Asga is the dream customer for every bank in the St. Gallen financial centre. Our enormous growth, volumes and the investment concepts we developed at an early stage – including in alternative investments – meant the banks also regarded us as instructive with regard to their own operations. Asga tends to be very restrained, however, and didn’t shout about its success externally – a style of communication that’s pretty unusual these days. Given our size and the amazing development we’d experienced, that would definitely have been opportune. I’m convinced that not making size one of Asga’s defining attributes was the right way to go. Asga has historically been founded on discretion, professionalism, dependability and a modest profile. Even today, these are values that shape our culture and therefore Asga as a whole.
What pioneering achievements can be expected from Asga in the future?
Real pioneering achievements are almost impossible in today’s overregulated environment. However, in many areas – such as service, performance and digitalisation – there’s still plenty of scope for creative ideas in terms of how to do things slightly better or differently. We have a vision: Our aim is to be Switzerland’s most popular pension fund. Much of that will be down to financial data and investment returns, but credibility, trust, dependability and security will be even more important – and that’s only possible with a very high level of service quality and exceptional customer proximity.