13th October 2022

Central & South America

Balancing Tradition with Innovation Produces Excellence

Cornèr Bank (Overseas) Ltd. Receives International Recognition

Change has been the one constant over the last two years as the entire world was forced into transformation. Amidst those changes were clarion calls for innovation; and while change is inevitable and a constant as day leads to day, innovation takes a willful and purposeful movement. Innovators do not wait for winds of change to blow, they find new ways to fill their sails.

It is no wonder then that Cornèr Bank (Overseas) Ltd., a consummate developer of new, groundbreaking financial products, finds itself atop the podium once again, having been awarded Best Private Banking Services in The Bahamas, 2022 and Excellence in Banking Innovation in The Bahamas, 2022 by The International Investor.

Values are most often passed on from generation to generation, and Cornèr Bank as a family-owned company of three generations has kept true to its values of adherence to sound business traditions, a penchant for simplicity and transparency, and a sensitivity to the society and environment at large.

These values steered the launch of ‘AcrossGen’ (Across Generations), Cornèr Bank’s new approach to managing clients’ portfolios. Pioneering, it has garnered the organization much deserved recognition by financial services pundits, and also by the bank’s clients who are already enraptured by the services.

AcrossGen was birthed in 2021 and the investment approach aligns with the business’ culture; offers new asset classes; specializes in shares in family-owned businesses; uses structured products and provides an all-inclusive fee structure. Underscoring the AcrossGen approach, “Family businesses are built on decades of experience, collective decision making and mutual trust. We believe in the power of values and convictions that have been passed on from generation to generation,” said CEO of the Bahamas-based operation, Christine Russell.

“Cornèr Bank’s legacy and culture spans three generations of being a family-owned bank, which is reflected in the concept of the AcrossGen investment strategy,” explained Russell. “We strongly believe this strategy aligns itself with Cornèr Bank’s philosophy of innovation and the provision of a one of a kind client experience. In addition, we have many entrepreneurs among our clients who also identify with this concept.”

Russell continued, “Moreover, we believe, investments in family-owned companies, which is an integral part of our professional asset management offered by the bank, provides a high degree of investment optimization given that family-owned companies are usually more stable (long term perspective) and more resilient to successfully withstand economic downturns, which is reflected, as a result, in a higher performances and reduced risk levels.”

Birgit Ludig-Dridi, Head of Wealth Management for Cornèr Bank, added, “Under the AcrossGen mandates, 50% of the equities are invested in family-owned companies listed on international markets. AcrossGen was designed to preserve a classic investment tradition that gives security and continuity to clients and melds with innovative information technology systems, analysis methods and investments. The approach is straightforward, transparent and respectful of our society and environment.”

The innovation that preceded AcrossGen changed the way Bahamians and residents in The Bahamas interact with international markets. When the Central Bank of The Bahamas relaxed exchange controls, Cornèr Bank launched its Cornèrtrader platform, allowing Bahamians and residents within The Bahamas to invest in foreign currencies on the international markets. Local access to financial markets remains an important milestone for the Bahamian financial services industry.

When Cornèrtrader launched in 2018, there was nothing like it on the market in The Bahamas, and true to its ethos, since its launch day, the company has held new users by the hand and guided them through the use of the system, giving less savvy investors a gateway to new trading and investment opportunities.

“We are continuously innovating and updating our product offerings; funds with special themes are analyzed and introduced to our investment offerings, structured products are adapted to new requirements and new trends, and also our digital platform is in continuous development. We balance innovation with a focus on the human factor, building long-term relationships based on trust, we work alongside our clients to find the ideal solution for enhancing their portfolio,”

Mrs. Russell explained.

An independent private Swiss bank founded in 1952, the Cornèr Bank Group offers a full range of products and services to meet the requirements of private, business and institutional clients. The group comprises the Lugano-based parent bank Cornèr Bank Ltd., the four branches in Chiasso, Geneva, Locarno and Zurich, and affiliates including Cornèr Bank (Overseas) Limited in Nassau, the capital city of The Bahamas. From its parent company’s deeply-rooted foundation, Cornèr Bank (Overseas) has been successfully offering an extensive suite of private banking and investment solutions to the islands since 1996.

Cornèr  Bank (Overseas) Ltd. is regulated by both The Central Bank of The Bahamas and The Securities Commission of The Bahamas. Its parent company has been ranked number one in Switzerland for four years in succession due to its financial soundness.

“In Cornèr Bank’s culture, compliance remains paramount to ensure clients’ needs are met and to maximize investment goals. Compliance ensures that our investment strategy closely aligns with the clients’ risk profile and that only investment products in line with the clients’ knowledge, timelines, and risk appetite are offered to our clients,”

Mrs. Ludig-Dridi added.

“Our investment strategy is geared towards managing your assets proactively, as if they were our own. We have measures and controls in place to ensure that client assets are safeguarded at all times. Consequently, innovation and compliance enhance our level of client service and are therefore critical components for maximizing client investment goals. At its core, Cornèr Bank retains its well-preserved values of excellent client service and world-class compliance.”

Some say that the world of private banking has largely remained on the sidelines of the banking sector’s technological transformation of recent years. Cornèr Bank (Overseas) Ltd. remains a standout in this area, continuously innovating as a bank that has moved quickly to meet changing demands and those created by the pandemic of the last two years, without losing sight of their clients’ needs.

Cornèr Bank continues to set the standard in the global financial services market. They prioritize innovation, not because change is inevitable, but because this is what their clients expect and that positions them to continually create the financial solutions of the future.

The Future:

The area of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) is of growing importance to the financial services sector. How is Cornèr Bank embracing this shift?

Aspects of ESG have long been embedded in the way we do business and Cornèr Bank ensures the best of humanity aligns with the best of its offerings.

In today’s environment, we apply ESG filters to our ‘Family-Owned Companies Universe’, where we choose our investments. We exclude companies in direct violation of international standards including the United Nations Global Compacts and those involved in controversial weapons (absolute exclusions) and companies with revenues from weapons and defense, firearms, tobacco, gambling, adult entertainment, coal mining, power generation from coal and GMO (relative exclusions). Within our ‘Family-Owned Companies Universe’ the bank overweights “climate leaders” and underweights “climate laggards” and our financial analysis is based on a carbon risk rating, which looks at a company’s CO2 efficiency.

Note: Cornèr Bank is member of Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF) to reinforce its efforts on current and future challenges related to Sustainable Finance and to ensure full alignment with industry priorities in this area. The mission of SSF is to strengthen Switzerland’s position as a leading voice and actor in sustainable finance.