Life, business, investments, aspirations – Our Wealth Architects are here to connect the dots. Marcus Spinas not only knows how to gather an otorhinolaryngologist, perfumer and experimental gastronomer around a table to explore the development of taste from different perspectives. He also offers advice on the lifecycle of your intermediary business. We snatched him off his motorbike to speak to him.
What is your area of expertise?
Marcus Spinas: My goal is to support intermediaries throughout their entrepreneurial life cycle. This means assisting them in becoming self-employed as well as in developing their business.
How do you assist (aspiring) intermediaries in this process?
Let’s assume you are an intermediary. The initial step after becoming self-employed consists of developing a successful business case. I love complex challenges and will sit together with you until we find the solution. Subsequently it is my job to create a proposition on how a bank can support you in achieving your objectives. With over 30 years of experience as a relationship manager in traditional private banking as well as in the intermediaries segment, I can deploy both perspectives.
In a second step, I may be able to leverage my vast network from the 25 years I worked as a private banker to help you with client acquisition. Lastly, I am here to give you ongoing financial advice and further develop your business plan. The key question in this regard is “How can you grow?”.
Looking back on the numerous intermediaries you have worked with in the past: Which common mistakes do you see them make and how can they avoid them?
I am of the opinion that a short-sighted action, simply aiming at making quick profits, never pays off in the long run. There is no free lunch. Furthermore, I have seen intermediaries underestimate the importance of professional risk management. The world has changed and it is paramount to know all required data concerning your clients. Seen from a different angle, this even gives you an advantage: Ask the bold questions to better understand them and possibly reap business opportunities. Additionally, I often see potential when trying to position yourself: As an intermediary you are more flexible than traditional banks, offer more bespoke services and even act as ‘family officer’. Do good and talk about it.
Moving away from mistakes: What makes an intermediary successful?
It all begins with a thorough due-diligence when setting up your business. Who are your clients? Who are your business partners, their offering, technological expertise…? What are the regulatory requirements you have to fulfil? It will be hard to build a house on a shaky foundation. Secondly, your job as an entrepreneur is not done once you have established the base. You have to constantly work on all areas: business strategy, offering, technology, risk management and many more. And overall, it is important to be open to new things. Today, many opportunities and exciting challenges exist in the intermediaries sector. I recommend to identify these and efficiently integrate them into your processes. This only works if you are open-minded and prepared to see them.
How do you spend your time when you are not advising intermediaries?
The combination of great food, good company and nature is invaluable for me. I love to take my motor- or e-bike on a tour with my friends or family. Of course, the culinary part plays an important role on these trips. I have cultivated grapes myself and organised a number of wine seminars in the past. One of the favourite events I organised took place in Caduff’s Wineloft in Zurich. I was able to unite the renowned otorhinolaryngologist Prof. Dr. Daniel Simmen, the pioneering perfumer Roman Kaiser from Givaudan S.A., and Mr. Beat Caduff, who is famous for his experimental cuisine, in a panel discussion. Prof. Dr. Daniel Simmen explained how your taste buds, the palate and the entire anatomy play together to create a taste. Mr. Roman Kaiser, who headed the research department of Givaudan S.A. for women’s fragrances at that time, explained how he reproduces natural fragrances for perfumes. The subsequent dinner was an explosion of flavours. I still remember every dish by heart.
This portrait is part of the ’Wealth Architects’ series in which we introduce you to our employees. All of them have practical tips and tricks in their area of expertise for you.