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Partners' View May 2022

Issue 02|2022 of our magazine Partners’ View on Art & Creativity. Request your personal copy of the print edition by sending an E-mail to: marketing@swisspartners.com

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The art of reading.<br />

PART<br />

NERS‘<br />

VIEW<br />

02|<strong>2022</strong><br />

<strong>May</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />

FOCUS<br />

ART &<br />

CREATIVITY<br />

WIE STABIL IST DIE WELT?<br />

THEMEN<br />

< Politik &<br />

Gesellschaft<br />

TOPICS < swisspartners-<br />

< NFTs Mission in art<br />

< Creative < Finanzmarkt advisory<br />

solutions < Versicherungen<br />

< Finance < Human meets Resources art<br />

< Who < Who is? is?


ART &<br />

CREATIVITY<br />

PART<br />

NERS‘<br />

VIEW<br />

ISSUE 04


EDITORIAL<br />

F<br />

Francis Picabia (1879–1953) was one of<br />

the most exciting and influential figures<br />

of classical modernism. A painter,<br />

writer and provocateur, Picabia is<br />

famously quoted as saying “Our heads<br />

are round so our thoughts can change<br />

direction”.<br />

Especially in challenging times, it was<br />

often artists who creatively reflected<br />

contemporary events and significantly<br />

influenced society through their art.<br />

Times of crisis call for creative<br />

solutions and courageous action.<br />

At swisspartners, art has a<br />

longstanding tradition. We have<br />

therefore dedicated the current issue<br />

of Partners’ <strong>View</strong> to a topic that is a<br />

constant source of food for thought:<br />

Art & Creativity. You are cordially<br />

invited to join our editorial team on a<br />

tour through the artistic world – from<br />

the perspective of swisspartners and<br />

the art experts with whom we<br />

collaborate.<br />

Everyone seems to be talking about<br />

NFTs these days. Digital assets expert<br />

Alexander Brunner shares a profound<br />

insight into the topic of NFTs in the art<br />

world and we ask ourselves the<br />

provocative question: Yes, but is it art?<br />

“Creative solutions in wealth advice<br />

need to be custom-tailored to people’s<br />

needs”, says our CEO Asset Management<br />

Christian Dietsche. This point is<br />

clearly demonstrated by two innovative<br />

services: ONE by swisspartners and our<br />

comprehensive stress-free package.<br />

Under the motto ‘Finance meets art’,<br />

we speak with our CEO Markus<br />

Wintsch and our cooperation partners<br />

Claudius Ochsner and Daniel<br />

Wahrenberger from the Gallery WOS<br />

in Zurich about their love of art and<br />

the importance of creativity.<br />

To round off this issue, in the ‘Who is?’<br />

column, we introduce Bernhard<br />

Schürmann, a long-standing<br />

relationship manager and a passionate<br />

art lover.<br />

I wish you a creative read.<br />

Yours<br />

Simone Töllner<br />

Head Marketing<br />

PARTNERS‘ VIEW | Editorial 3


CONTENTS<br />

4 Contents | PARTNERS‘ VIEW


YES, BUT IS IT ART? 6<br />

Alexander Brunner on NFTs in art<br />

CREATIVE ADVISORY<br />

SOLUTIONS 10<br />

Innovative services from swisspartners<br />

FINANCE MEETS ART 12<br />

swisspartners in conversation with Claudius Ochsner<br />

and Daniel Wahrenberger from the Gallery WOS<br />

WHO IS? 18<br />

Profile: Bernhard Schürmann<br />

PUBLISHING<br />

INFORMATION 19<br />

PARTNERS‘ VIEW | Contents 5


YES, BUT IS IT ART?<br />

BETWEEN FASCINATION AND IRRITATION:<br />

NFTS IN THE ART WORLD<br />

Guest commentary by Alexander Brunner<br />

Digital art has become „socially acceptable.”<br />

6 NFTs in art | PARTNERS‘ VIEW


„<br />

Back in 2017, software developers Hall and Watkinson<br />

issued 10,000 NFTs: virtual certificates of ownership<br />

recorded on the blockchain and linked to algorithmically<br />

generated portraits of characters inspired by the London<br />

punk scene, for free. In February <strong>2022</strong>, Sotheby’s planned<br />

to sell 104 of these ‘CryptoPunks’ for a total of USD 30<br />

million. A year earlier, in March 2021, Christie’s auctioned<br />

an NFT by artist Mike Winkelmann for USD 69 million. In<br />

2019, Swiss artist Johannes Gees created 360 NFTs<br />

based on a laser platform. These too were valued in the<br />

millions in 2021. As a new form of digital art, NFTs have<br />

undeniably made it on the mainstream art scene – and<br />

have become a hotly sought-after investment.<br />

With NFTs, the<br />

traditional concept<br />

of art is reaching<br />

its limits.”<br />

The generally technology-averse and slow-to-change art<br />

world is now seeing rapid innovation driven by accelerating<br />

technological advances based on blockchain. It is a<br />

familiar phenomenon from the business world: Wherever<br />

new technologies disrupt the established way of doing<br />

things, they create momentum for rapid change. We only<br />

need to think here of how Amazon transformed the book<br />

trade or how Spotify revolutionised how we listen to<br />

music.<br />

DIGITAL WORLD MEETS THE ART WORLD<br />

An NFT is a non-fungible token – essentially a digital code<br />

that points to a digital or physical object, similar to a<br />

digital certificate of ownership. The token is stored,<br />

immutably and publicly, on the blockchain.<br />

For many years, ‘digital’ or ‘generative’ art – art generated<br />

via computer algorithms – eked out a niche existence.<br />

This was mainly because digital objects are easy, cheap,<br />

and quick to copy – and thus of little value to collectors<br />

or investors.<br />

Combining digital artworks with manipulation-proof<br />

digital certificates in the form of NFTs proved an immediate<br />

game changer, giving a huge uplift to digital art and<br />

propelling it into the realm of respectability. Auction<br />

houses and galleries are not the only ones to profit from<br />

the digital art gold-rush. For artists, too, it has opened up<br />

a completely new market.<br />

A NEW CONCEPT OF ART?<br />

When the first NFTs were pitched onto the art market,<br />

tempers flared: Can digital art be considered art? Can’t<br />

digital artworks simply be copied at will? Something that<br />

is digitally reproducible and consequently anything but<br />

unique surely can’t be valuable in the conventional sense<br />

– or can it?<br />

How does art define itself? And is art only ‘good’ art if it<br />

costs a lot of money? At what point does the physical (art)<br />

world transition to the digital world? Question upon<br />

question, but one thing is clear: with NFTs, the traditional<br />

concept of art is reaching its limits. At the same time, it<br />

has always been the task of art to critically reflect<br />

contemporary events and to play with traditional ideas.<br />

The connection between NFTs and art shows once again<br />

that wherever there is innovation, there are also breaks<br />

with tradition. In my view, the beauty of technological<br />

acceleration is that it generates a wealth of new ideas<br />

and projects in rapid succession. It promotes iteration as<br />

an intrinsic feature of creative work. At the same time,<br />

rapid reproduction raises the question of whether<br />

generative art is artistically substantial and of lasting<br />

value whatsoever. What constitutes quality in digital art?<br />

What will stand the test of time?<br />

PARTNERS‘ VIEW | NFTs in art 7


I am fascinated by the interface „between digital and physical.”<br />

DIGITAL ART AS A STATUS SYMBOL<br />

Top-priced NFTs today include the well-known Bored Ape<br />

(Yacht Club) and the CryptoPunks mentioned earlier.<br />

They enjoy cult status in the crypto world and attract<br />

strong media attention. Their high prices (several hundred<br />

thousand USD) result in people showing them off in<br />

social media. This brings another important function of<br />

digital art into focus: Owners use it to burnish their social<br />

status and prestige, and to gain access to an exclusive<br />

coterie – just as with traditional art.<br />

In this context, it is quite legitimate to ask if the focus<br />

here is on art at all – or if it is all about investing and<br />

media self-promotion. Some hail generative art as visionary,<br />

iconic and trailblazing while others denounce it as trashy<br />

and over-hyped.<br />

Another area of tension is the relationship between capital<br />

and art. While artists are all too quick to say they have<br />

nothing to do with the commercial art world, they still<br />

profit from the enormous value development of their<br />

artistic output. Both aspects collide with great force in<br />

NFTs.<br />

FUSION OF DIGITAL AND PHYSICAL ART<br />

I have worked together with the Zurich artist Christian<br />

Etter for a number of years. He is the founder of the<br />

Museum of Digital Arts in Zurich and designed my book,<br />

Crypto Nation Switzerland. Right now, he is working on<br />

a physical sculpture that incorporates digital, NFT<br />

elements. His aim is to transport predominantly digital<br />

art into the physical world. And it is important to him that<br />

his artwork remains aesthetically compelling, both<br />

digitally and physically. As the co-initiator of this art<br />

project, I am fascinated by the creative process and the<br />

challenges of the interface between digital and physical<br />

art.<br />

8 NFTs in art | PARTNERS‘ VIEW


Foto © Filipa Peixeiro<br />

DIGITAL ART: A GOOD INVESTMENT?<br />

Even the Swiss Art Market Association is grappling with<br />

the question of how the digital transformation will affect<br />

the art world. The question is, where is all this going? Are<br />

NFTs in art no more than a flash in the pan, or do they<br />

have sustainable future potential? Are they worth<br />

investing in?<br />

The current hype around NFTs reminds me of the initial<br />

coin offering (ICO) boom in 2017. Back then, countless<br />

blockchain start-ups raised huge sums in fundraising<br />

campaigns. Shortly thereafter, the crypto market<br />

corrected sharply. Most of the projects turned out to be<br />

pump-and-dump schemes, and in some cases, investors<br />

lost a lot of money. I can imagine a similar situation with<br />

NFTs. In fact, no one can give a reliable prognosis at the<br />

present time.<br />

ART AS MIRROR OF SOCIETY<br />

Digital art has found its way into the classical art world<br />

within a few years due to blockchain technology. High<br />

auction prices and strong media attention have put an<br />

end to generative art’s niche existence. Whether that<br />

makes lasting sense is something only time will tell. But<br />

ultimately, art is expected to mirror society, thereby<br />

promoting critical discourse. This is precisely the contribution<br />

that NFTs can make in view of the rapid digital<br />

transformation in business and society.<br />

THE ART OF ABOUT REAL ESTATE THE AUTHOR<br />

Alexander E. Brunner is from Zurich and works as a<br />

consultant for international technology companies. He<br />

also writes about digital assets and is a member of the<br />

Zurich City Council. As an art lover, he has long taken a<br />

personal interest in the arts and promotes artists in<br />

Switzerland and abroad.<br />

Before working for Ben & Jerry’s, the cult ice cream<br />

brand, Alexander studied business administration at the<br />

University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. He later worked<br />

for over a decade in alternative investments, hedge funds<br />

and impact investing before becoming a senior executive<br />

at a Swedish-Swiss big data start-up.<br />

Alexander is the author of Crypto Nation Switzerland, the<br />

first book about the Swiss Crypto Valley (2019). He also<br />

authored the first Swiss Digital Asset and Wealth<br />

Management Report (2021).<br />

„ Art is expected to mirror<br />

society, thereby promoting<br />

critical discourse.”<br />

PARTNERS‘ VIEW | NFTs in art 9


CREATIVE ADVISORY<br />

SOLUTIONS<br />

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from swisspartners<br />

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FFurther<br />

enhancing the ability to meet clients’ needs with<br />

creative solutions in extraordinary times, swisspartners has<br />

developed two forward-looking advisory solutions: ONE by<br />

swisspartners, and the stress-free package.<br />

Both of these solutions are tailor-made, leaving clients free<br />

to choose what is important to them. “We focus on structured<br />

wealth advice with clear objectives,” says Christian Dietsche,<br />

CEO Asset Management at swisspartners. “This enables us<br />

to prepare creative solutions geared to individual needs.”<br />

Alongside this focus on individual requirements, Dietsche<br />

says, another key aspect when advising clients is being open<br />

to new developments: “We always keep up with the times, so<br />

we make sure we also have new markets like crypto and<br />

other current themes on our radar.”<br />

Featuring six building blocks, the stress-free package takes the<br />

pressure off clients across all aspects of wealth, financial<br />

planning, taxes, forward planning & inheritance, property and<br />

lifestyle services. Diverse service modules can be combined<br />

to deliver maximum flexibility. Interested clients can make a<br />

preliminary selection of the stress-free services on the<br />

swisspartners website. In the next stage, swisspartners<br />

specialists work with clients to put together a bespoke package<br />

of services – remotely by video conference if required.<br />

„ We focus on structured<br />

wealth advice with clear<br />

objectives.”<br />

10 Creative advisory solutions | PARTNERS‘ VIEW


ONE BY SWISSPARTNERS<br />

Your wealth at a glance: The comprehensive ONE by swisspartners<br />

service digitally consolidates and structures all assets, from<br />

equities and foreign currencies through to property, works of<br />

art, vintage cars and antiques. Not only does ONE enable the<br />

transparent documentation of how assets are structured and<br />

owned, it also offers digitalised performance and cost analyses<br />

as well as macroeconomic assessments. The encrypted,<br />

blockchain-based client portal with cloud servers in Switzerland<br />

meets the highest demands in terms of data<br />

security.<br />

„ Creative solutions in<br />

wealth-advice have to be<br />

tailored to meet individual<br />

needs.”<br />

YOUR CONTACT:<br />

Christian Dietsche<br />

CEO Asset Management<br />

christian.dietsche@swisspartners.com<br />

Learn more about our innovative<br />

solutions:<br />

swisspartners.com/das-sorglos-paket<br />

onebyswisspartners.com/en<br />

PARTNERS‘ VIEW | Creative advisory solutions 11


FINANCEMEETSART<br />

MARKUS WINTSCH, CEO OF THE SWISSPARTNERS GROUP,<br />

AND SIMONE TÖLLNER, HEAD MARKETING, EXCHANGE IDEAS<br />

WITH GALLERY OWNERS CLAUDIUS OCHSNER AND DANIEL<br />

WAHRENBERGER FROM THE GALLERY WOS ON THEIR LOVE<br />

OF ART AND ON THE IMPORTANCE OF ART AND CREATIVITY<br />

AT SWISSPARTNERS.<br />

The discussion was moderated by Kathrin Meister.<br />

„ Our affinity to art is also<br />

expressed in our slogan,<br />

‘The art of finance’.”<br />

Markus Wintsch<br />

12 Finance meets art | PARTNERS‘ VIEW


ART HAS ALWAYS FEATURED LARGE AT<br />

SWISSPARTNERS. THE SWISSPARTNERS SLOGAN,<br />

“THE ART OF FINANCE”, WAS CREATED IN 2016. HOW<br />

DID THIS STRONG AFFINITY TO ART COME ABOUT?<br />

MARKUS WINTSCH: Art plays a central role at swisspartners<br />

and has done for the past 29 years. The founding partners, as<br />

well as the partners who joined through to the end of the<br />

1990s, are all art lovers. They all share close connections with<br />

art. And the same partners have a long track record of<br />

erving clients who also have an affinity to art.<br />

In some cases, partners have brought their own private<br />

artworks into the office. Building on this, we have gradually<br />

expanded our art collection in collaboration with various art<br />

dealers. When selecting works for this purpose, we have<br />

always insisted on them having a connection to the world of<br />

finance. We have also commissioned painters to create works<br />

of art exclusively for swisspartners. One picture, for example,<br />

embodies the swisspartners values. (see page 12)<br />

Our affinity to art is also expressed in<br />

our slogan, “The art of finance”. This<br />

was created during the last makeover of<br />

our corporate identity. Today, it is an<br />

integral part of our corporate design. It<br />

is a highly versatile slogan that we mix<br />

and match in a variety of ways. In the<br />

case of Partners’ <strong>View</strong>, for instance, we<br />

have picked “The art of reading”.<br />

WHAT ROLE DOES ART PLAY IN YOUR CLIENTS’ ASSET<br />

PORTFOLIOS?<br />

MARKUS WINTSCH: Just like real estate or collectible cars,<br />

art has long been firmly established as an asset class in the<br />

investment portfolios of wealthy private clients.<br />

Many clients of swisspartners have been collecting art for<br />

decades. This is something we frequently only learn about<br />

when we visit them in their own homes. In their home<br />

surroundings, we are not only able to gain a better picture of<br />

our clients and their families, but also get to see how they<br />

live and what is important to them. Art often plays a<br />

prominent role here.<br />

„<br />

I see my role as<br />

an opportunity<br />

to combine the<br />

fields of art and<br />

marketing.”<br />

Simone Töllner<br />

THE PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE GALLERY WOS AND<br />

SWISSPARTNERS GOES BACK A LONG WAY. HOW DID IT<br />

COME ABOUT?<br />

CLAUDIUS OCHSNER: Through my former gallery Barr &<br />

Ochsner, I have been in close contact with Ralph Schuler ever<br />

since early 2000. Our collaboration took on a more concrete<br />

form when Simone Töllner came in.<br />

SIMONE TÖLLNER: Art in our organisation is a subject that<br />

is very close to my heart. Shortly after I joined swisspartners<br />

in July 2019, I met with the three owners of the Gallery WOS<br />

to set up a working partnership. This covers, on the one hand,<br />

the swisspartners art events and, on the other, support for<br />

our in-house art exhibitions. We enjoy a great degree of<br />

freedom and trust on the part of swisspartners’ management<br />

in advancing our art projects. This has naturally added to the<br />

success of our partnership to date. Thanks to art, we are able<br />

to bring new creative flair to our office premises and to inspire<br />

our clients at art events.<br />

PARTNERS‘ VIEW | Finance meets art 13


WHAT DO THE THREE LETTERS WOS STAND FOR AND<br />

HOW ARE YOU SPECIALISED?<br />

DANIEL WAHRENBERGER: The letters stand for the gallery’s<br />

three owners, Wahrenberger, Ochsner and Schafflützel. Its<br />

‘predecessor’ galleries, Barr & Ochsner and Wahrenberger,<br />

boast over 50 years of combined experience in the art market.<br />

Back then, Thomas Schafflützel helped out in my gallery. At<br />

a meeting with Claudius Ochsner, we came up with the idea<br />

of presenting a combined booth at the next art fair. Shortly<br />

after that, Thomas Schafflützel moved to Barr & Ochsner. We<br />

then launched our joint gallery, the Gallery WOS, in September<br />

2019. You can find us in Zurich’s beautiful Kirchgasse, where<br />

we opened our premises in mid-2020. We inaugurated another<br />

showroom in Pfäffikon this March.<br />

CLAUDIUS OCHSNER: Due to the merger of two galleries,<br />

we are naturally very broadly positioned. On the one hand,<br />

we represent the programme of the former Barr & Ochsner<br />

gallery: classical modernism with a<br />

focus on German expressionism, American<br />

pop art and European art of the 1940s<br />

and 1950s. Daniel Wahrenberger traditionally<br />

has a different approach to art:<br />

He primarily represents a small circle of<br />

contemporary artists with whom he<br />

maintains personal contact.<br />

„<br />

Only together with his<br />

friends could someone<br />

like Picasso become a<br />

person who influenced<br />

generations of artists.”<br />

Claudius Ochsner<br />

SIMONE TÖLLNER, YOU ARE HEAD MARKETING AT SWISSPARTNERS AND<br />

OVERSEE THE IN-HOUSE ART EXHIBITIONS AND ART EVENTS. WOULD YOU<br />

LIKE TO TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR CONNECTION TO CREATIVITY<br />

AND ART?<br />

SIMONE TÖLLNER: I was given the opportunity to join swisspartners as Head<br />

Marketing in 2019. My background is actually in the humanities: I studied art history,<br />

philosophy and German literature and followed up with a master’s in cultural<br />

studies and media conception in Zurich. After that, I qualified in marketing in<br />

part-time study. That makes me quite the odd one out in finance (laughs).<br />

Creativity is literally something I was born into, as my grandfather was a landscape<br />

painter of the classical Munich school at Munich Academy of Fine Arts. I spent my<br />

childhood between canvases and the smell of turpentine and linseed oil (painting<br />

materials – ed.). Before swisspartners, I worked for about 12 years in sales and<br />

marketing at several prestigious Swiss art galleries. As many of my former gallery<br />

clients were from finance, I was able to develop a high affinity for the finance sector<br />

during that time. I see my role at swisspartners as an opportunity to combine the<br />

fields of art and marketing. The working atmosphere in our organisation is characterised<br />

by individuality and creativity. That’s probably why I feel so at home here.<br />

14 Finance meets art | PARTNERS‘ VIEW


SWISSPARTNERS IS CURRENTLY REDESIGNING ITS<br />

ZURICH OFFICE. MEANWHILE, THE GALLERY WOS HAS<br />

OPENED A NEW SHOWROOM IN PFÄFFIKON, SCHWYZ.<br />

HOW BIG A ROLE DO SPACES PLAY IN UNLOCKING<br />

CREATIVITY?<br />

MARKUS WINTSCH: Certainly a big one! The only thing I<br />

regret about the remodelling of our office premises is that art<br />

will probably have to take a back seat. But together with the<br />

Gallery WOS or our artist friends, I’m confident that we will<br />

find a way to integrate art into our open-plan layout. We<br />

would like to continue to give our team the opportunity to<br />

identify themselves through art and to create a creative<br />

atmosphere of well-being in our premises.<br />

SIMONE TÖLLNER: At swisspartners, we had two different<br />

permanent exhibitions in the past, each with a completely<br />

different ambiance. We are also noticing how strongly our<br />

employees have identified with ‘our’ art over time. As already<br />

mentioned, works of art that hung in our corridors and offices<br />

for many years were sold because of the redesign – in some<br />

cases triggering strong emotions.<br />

MARKUS WINTSCH: Clients have frequently picked up on our<br />

artworks as a talking point over the last 29 years. Often<br />

enough, we spoke at greater length about the art in our<br />

premises than about the performance of their portfolios<br />

(laughs). Because our redesigned offices will have an openplan<br />

layout, it’s going to be a challenge to hang art here. In<br />

future, we will make more flexible use of the space<br />

we have available for creativity and art – among<br />

other things with loans from the Gallery WOS.<br />

Accordingly, we are now in the process of selling a<br />

large part of our art collection.<br />

DANIEL WAHRENBERGER: Not long after opening<br />

our gallery in July 2020, we had to go into lockdown.<br />

One positive outcome of the pandemic has been that<br />

because people had to spend more time working<br />

from home, they wanted to make their home<br />

surroundings more attractive. It goes without saying<br />

that art is an important part of this. Art also plays a<br />

major role when it comes to receiving visitors, whether<br />

at home or in the office. As the saying goes, you never get<br />

a second chance to make a first impression.<br />

WHAT DO YOU HOPE THAT THE OPEN-PLAN LAYOUT<br />

WILL DO FOR THE CREATIVITY OF YOUR WORK AT<br />

SWISSPARTNERS?<br />

MARKUS WINTSCH: My great wish is that after the pandemic,<br />

people will be happy to come back to the office to exchange<br />

ideas and maintain social contacts. All of that has suffered<br />

over the last two-and-a-half years. Getting people to return<br />

to work from the office isn’t at all easy. But the remodelling<br />

of our office premises is bound to motivate our team to come<br />

and work in a superbly designed office environment and<br />

finally meet colleagues again. After all, we spend around twothirds<br />

of our waking hours at work.<br />

As part of the redesign, we hope to incorporate ideas that<br />

were previously unthinkable, such as living green walls. So<br />

as well as promoting art and creativity, we will also to an<br />

extent be bringing nature into the office.<br />

„<br />

We would like to<br />

continue to give our<br />

team the opportunity<br />

to identify themselves<br />

through art.”<br />

Simone Töllner, Markus Wintsch<br />

Markus Wintsch<br />

PARTNERS‘ VIEW | Finance meets art 15


„ At some point, you embark on your<br />

own ‘art journey’, and that ends up<br />

resembling a tree that branches out<br />

in all sorts of directions,<br />

again and again.”<br />

Daniel Wahrenberger<br />

ON 5 MAY, THE GALLERY WOS OPENED A NEW<br />

EXHIBITION, PICASSO & FRIENDS. THE EXHIBITION<br />

SHINES THE LIGHT ON PICASSO’S WORK IN<br />

CONNECTION WITH A CIRCLE OF OTHER OUTSTANDING<br />

ARTISTIC PERSONALITIES. TO WHAT EXTENT DOES THE<br />

PRINCIPLE OF “INDIVIDUALITY AND MUTUALITY” ALSO<br />

APPLY TO THE FINANCE SECTOR?<br />

MARKUS WINTSCH: As our client base gets younger, the<br />

more important the team approach to customer service<br />

becomes for us as a financial boutique. Today, flexible advisory<br />

approaches are needed from different people with different<br />

know-how, strengths and weaknesses. In the past, you could<br />

cover all bases with a one-man or one-woman show – one<br />

Picasso, if you will. But growing specialisation has massively<br />

changed the game over the last ten years. Nowadays, no one<br />

person can know everything, or provide all services. It always<br />

takes a strong team.<br />

In the Picasso & Friends exhibition, it is the ‘friends’ who are<br />

the team. At swisspartners, we not only need friends from<br />

within our own ranks, but also friends from outside the<br />

company.<br />

Claudius Ochsner, Daniel Wahrenberger,<br />

Thomas Schafflützel (left to to right)<br />

IS OUR INTERPRETATION OF THE PICASSO & FRIENDS EXHIBITION AT THE<br />

GALLERY WOS ACCURATE?<br />

CLAUDIUS OCHSNER: Picasso was, of course, an outstanding personality. Together<br />

with Georges Braques and Juan Gris, he founded Cubism. But if his circle of friends –<br />

other artists who were also productive at the time – had not taken up the movement,<br />

it would have remained a flash in the pan. Only together with his friends could someone<br />

like Picasso become a person who influenced generations of artists.<br />

In the other direction, his friends also influenced Picasso’s own work. He too took up<br />

elements from other artists and reinterpreted them. A good artist doesn’t live and work<br />

in isolation from the outside world. He or she goes out to see, hear, read and visit<br />

exhibitions. The result is either a poor impression of the collected elements – or something<br />

brilliant. In Picasso’s case, it was the latter.<br />

16 Finance meets art | PARTNERS‘ VIEW


WHICH ART MOVEMENT OR ARTIST HAS SHAPED AND<br />

INSPIRED YOU MOST OVER THE YEARS?<br />

CLAUDIUS OCHSNER: Paul Cézanne never fails to fascinate<br />

me as an artist. He is one of the founders of modernism,<br />

redefined the artistic eye for detail, played with light and<br />

shadow, left unfinished works that as far as he was concerned<br />

were finished, and anticipated Cubism and abstraction.<br />

Without him, 20th century art would simply not have happened.<br />

DANIEL WAHRENBERGER: My background is in contemporary<br />

art, as you know, and I have always actively worked with<br />

artists and also coached them. After we merged our two<br />

galleries, for example, I discovered modernist cynicism for<br />

myself. Committing to a single art movement would definitely<br />

be too narrow. At some point, you embark on your own ‘art<br />

journey’, and that ends up resembling a tree that branches<br />

out in all sorts of directions, again and again. There is always<br />

something new to discover, but everything goes back to the<br />

same roots.<br />

SIMONE TÖLLNER: My roots without question are drawn<br />

from the old masters. At the same time, out there in the<br />

fringes, there are many artists that I admire very much. But<br />

the common thread that has followed me through my entire<br />

life is figurative art. I am fascinated by art that depicts, or that<br />

completely distorts reality. At home, I have lots of portraits<br />

and full-length works – I like to surround myself with people<br />

and faces. I live with my ‘friends’ on the canvases and am<br />

happy in their company.<br />

MARKUS WINTSCH: When collecting, I focus on modern art,<br />

which is atypical for the finance sector. An important factor<br />

for me is to know the artists personally. For example, I have<br />

acquired 50 artworks from one artist, because supporting the<br />

livelihood of this artist and his family is a project close to my<br />

heart. I also love large-format paintings and value harmonious<br />

colours. Art has to flow as part of the contextual<br />

environment – the frame, the surroundings and the people<br />

who live there.<br />

WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS CREATIVE?<br />

DANIEL WAHRENBERGER: We are not short on creativity.<br />

The important thing is to channel it in an organised way.<br />

When you own a gallery and deal with different artists, art<br />

movements, projects, art fairs and so forth on a daily basis,<br />

creativity just flows of its own accord. It is important to find a<br />

common thread while staying open to new projects, such as<br />

with swisspartners.<br />

CLAUDIUS OCHSNER: Another facet of creativity is that we<br />

seek creative financing solutions for collectors who would like<br />

to buy something but do not have enough money at that<br />

moment.<br />

SIMONE TÖLLNER: Sure I’m creative, or I wouldn’t be where<br />

I am today. I might not create art as such in the way that an<br />

artist does, but I always try and find creative solutions.<br />

MARKUS WINTSCH: I like to bring my creativity to bear in<br />

the interior and exterior of investment properties – that’s my<br />

passion. Creativity is particularly needed in the property<br />

sector because buildings are often so monotonous. When it<br />

comes to the interior design of our offices, though, I’m happy<br />

to leave the creativity to Simone Töllner and Vanessa Burkart<br />

(Head Human Relations). They do a great job here on their<br />

own! I look forward to finally getting back together in person<br />

with the swisspartners team and harnessing our mutual<br />

inspiration in our redesigned premises.<br />

MORE ABOUT<br />

THE GALLERY WOS:<br />

galerie-wos.com/en<br />

„<br />

Art has to flow as part<br />

of the contextual<br />

environment – the<br />

frame, the surroundings<br />

and the people who live<br />

there.”<br />

Markus Wintsch<br />

PARTNERS‘ VIEW | Finance meets art 17


WHO IS?<br />

A COMPANY IS ONLY AS GOOD AS ITS<br />

EMPLOYEES. IN THIS COLUMN, WE<br />

PRESENT TALENTED MEMBERS OF<br />

THE SWISSPARTNERS TEAM.<br />

Bernhard Schürmann (right) and Simone<br />

Töllner with a sculpture by Swiss artist<br />

Ludwig Stocker.<br />

BERNHARD<br />

SCHÜRMANN<br />

Partner<br />

bernhard.schuermann@swisspartners.com<br />

Bernhard Schürmann<br />

describes himself with a quote attributed to<br />

Confucius: “To get to the source, you need to<br />

swim against the current.” Having been with<br />

swisspartners for 25 years, he is one of the<br />

longest-standing members of the team. As<br />

well as being an expert in asset management,<br />

Bernhard has always had a great interest in<br />

the arts and culture.<br />

He began his education with a commercial<br />

apprenticeship at Union Bank of Switzerland<br />

in Lucerne. Subsequently, he completed his<br />

secondary schooling at the Cantonal school<br />

of Lucerne. To finance his studies at the<br />

University of Zurich, he taught part-time at a<br />

commercial school in Lucerne – characterwise<br />

a major challenge for him, as he says today.<br />

After completing his studies, he took his first<br />

steps in asset management at Privatbank<br />

und Verwaltungsgesellschaft in Zurich (a part<br />

of the Schmidheiny Group) and spent a year<br />

in New York for training and further education.<br />

The Schmidheiny family was very fond of art<br />

and he had the privilege of being present<br />

when Alexander Schmidheiny built up his<br />

large collection of works by American pop<br />

artists.<br />

Later, Bernhard was appointed Director of<br />

the group’s publicly listed Allgemeine Finanzgesellschaft.<br />

Then followed ten years at<br />

Cantrade Privatbank as a relationship manager<br />

and curator of the bank’s art collection.<br />

Finally, he joined swisspartners, together<br />

with some of his colleagues from Cantrade<br />

Privatbank. In advising clients, Bernhard has<br />

always believed the saying “If the client is<br />

happy, then the relationship manager is<br />

happy,” pointing out that happiness is the<br />

only thing that doubles when you share it.<br />

5<br />

5 QUESTIONS TO BERNHARD SCHÜRMANN<br />

WHAT’S THE BEST THING YOU HAVE TO GIVE AT<br />

SWISSPARTNERS?<br />

The network that I have built up over the years. I might be a bit of an<br />

individualist, but I have always enjoyed networking. I was on the<br />

Board of Directors of Private Equity Holding for a number of years.<br />

That gave me the opportunity to forge contacts with interesting people<br />

and companies from fields such as medicine and engineering. I also<br />

look after a number of clients from the arts and culture sector, which<br />

lets me combine my hobby with my profession.<br />

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST STRENGTH?<br />

The fact that I have been able to retain almost all of my clients over<br />

the last 25 years. I’m not a one-size-fits-all relationship manager and<br />

have always looked after clients and their portfolios personally. Client<br />

service in my mind encompasses comprehensive support for all<br />

situations and problems.<br />

WHAT DOES ART MEAN TO YOU?<br />

I appreciate beautiful things and I especially love collecting art. But I<br />

have never fallen for the mainstream. I own works of art from<br />

classical modernism, Swiss art, as well as works by internationally<br />

renowned artists (including China). One of my best friends, a major<br />

collector of Chinese art, is a constant source of inspiration for me. I<br />

have never sold any of the works in my collection. For me, art is not<br />

a financial investment, but is something close to my heart.<br />

WHAT KEEPS YOU YOUNG?<br />

My family, sports and culture. I work out once a week with a personal<br />

yoga instructor and play tennis (doubles only nowadays) as well as<br />

golf. Aside from that, I am passionately involved in a cultural foundation<br />

and sit on the advisory board of an international art collection.<br />

WHERE DO YOU SEE THE BRIDGE BETWEEN THE ARTS AND THE<br />

WORLD OF FINANCE?<br />

Both areas need serious, competent analysis and advice. Because no<br />

one person can do everything and know everything themselves, good<br />

contacts and networks are indispensable.<br />

Interview by Simone Töllner.<br />

18 WHO IS? | PARTNERS‘ VIEW


IMPRESSUM<br />

EDITORIAL TEAM<br />

Kathrin Meister | wordflow.de<br />

Simone Töllner | swisspartners.com<br />

LAYOUT & DESIGN<br />

Angelika Plag | corporate-concepts.de<br />

© PHOTOS<br />

Getty Images: cover, pages 2, 10, back<br />

Adobe Stock: pages 2, 4, 6–9<br />

Karin Bischof: Employees pages 3, 11,18<br />

Filipa Peixeiro: Alexander Brunner, page 9<br />

Gabriela Dumitrescu: pages 11, 19<br />

Daniel Chardon: Gallery WOS pages 15, 16<br />

ARTWORK<br />

pages 12, 18: „Verpflichtung“, triptych,<br />

oil on canvas, 80 x 360 cm<br />

PARTNERS‘ VIEW | Publishing information 19


The art of reading.<br />

swisspartners Group AG<br />

Am Schanzengraben 23<br />

P.O. Box<br />

CH-8022 Zurich<br />

Phone +41 58 200 00 00<br />

swisspartners.com<br />

swisspartners-group-ag<br />

swiss.partners<br />

swisspartners

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