Compagnie Monégasque de Banque (CMB) was founded in 1976 and specialises in wealth management and a range of tailor-made products and services, including financing and investment advice. Based in Monaco, CMB is led by CEO, Werner Peyer, who renewed his post for the next three years at the AGM in April this year. Under his leadership CMB has cultivated long-term client relationships based on a personalised service.
Monaco’s financial sector
There are many advantages of working with Monaco’s financial sector. The financial community in the principality benefits from the stability of its institutions and it is totally integrated into the Monégasque model, which is based on security for people and property. Whenever you mention Monaco, one of the first words that springs to mind is “security”, whether it’s that of the residents or tourists, the principality is a safe haven. It goes without saying that particular attention is given to security within the banking sector. In this area, the regulatory bodies are of a high standard.
A number of recent changes have made Monaco’s banking sector even more attractive. The first relates to diversification and the development of a global clientele, which has prompted Monaco’s financial sector to expand its offering to the Middle East, Latin America and Africa.
Also, CMB’s objectives have evolved in line with its continuous quest for excellence within the Monégasque model. In Monaco, the qualifications and credentials of its collaborators and partners is unrivalled, and professional certification is required for any collaborator who is in direct contact with the principality’s clientele and marketplace.
Finally, in the near future, electronic signatures will become legal in Monaco, allowing clients to sign contracts and other official documents remotely. This will also save time, reduce paper and enable the smooth handling of administrative issues.
One of the banking industry’s main concerns is cybercrime, with criminals finding ever more sophisticated ways to penetrate major institutions. Naturally, banks possess very sensitive information, which they must protect at all costs. Mediobanca Spa, a unique shareholder of CMB, has adopted a particularly proactive investment policy for data protection – the Monaco Cyber Security Agency, which lends crucial support to essential facility providers.
What role does CMB play?
CMB is one of the most distinguished names in private banking. Although highly successful, generating 1.2bn euros in credit volume – 25% growth year-on-year – the bank never loses slight of its mission to offer a tailored service and build personal client relationships.
Stability is paramount to clients, who require time to establish a trusting relationship with their portfolio manager. CMB’s teams are constantly evolving in line with new compliance and regulation. The arena under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FACTCA) and Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) has become extremely complex and no-one can claim to be a master of it all, explains CMB Bank CEO, Werner Peyer: “My role is not to be a specialist in every domain, but rather to be the conductor of my orchestra of experts.”
CMB Academy programmes
The CMB Women & Finance Academy
In 2016 CMB – under Marie-Helène Parisi who oversees the bank’s Women & Finance Academy – created a truly unique educational programme that enables female clients to take a lead role in family wealth management. The year-long programme is designed to empower female clients to make financial decisions. Over the course of nine modules, internal and external professionals teach the students about a variety of financial topics, which they then put in to practice by managing their personal virtual portfolio.
The topics covered over the 27 hours of lessons include financial markets, asset allocation and behavioural finance – all of which leads up to the highly anticipated graduation ceremony.
CMB Philanthropy Academy
Monaco is renowned globally for its humanitarian work. In October 2017 CMB launched the Philanthropy Academy to create new synergies among philanthropic stakeholders in the principality. The six-module Philanthropy course covers all the topics that a philanthropist needs to understand. This includes, evaluation criteria, opportunities, resources and partners; ultimately, the course covers all the necessary components to launch a successful philanthropic venture.
External experts and guest speakers who provide insight on topics specific to philanthropy, such as taxation, also support CMB’s team of lecturers. This new academy allows CMB to educate people about the values of philanthropy, while also proving a new investment axis for its wealth management network. “For CMB, philanthropy means being committed to the well-being of humanity,” says Mr Peyer, who adds: “An institution like ours has a duty to get involved in the future of the next generations.” Building on their success, CMB’s academies will not rest on their laurels and new projects are to be unveiled in 2018.
Five-star client relationships
Building the very best client relationships is in CMB’s DNA. The bank pays close attention to the needs of its clientele, which provides the basis for establishing firm bonds, sometimes over several generations. Today, in traditional private banking, the average client age is 70, but CMB sees itself as also serving their children and grandchildren. CMB adapts its communication and products according to the age of a client. For example, CMB has found that those most wary of new technology are the 40-50 age group. Unlike their parents or children, this generation are most aware of cyber-security and the bank takes this into account.
“The personal relationship is at the centre of our advisory methods. We aim first of all to listen to the client. It is essential in order to understand their needs on a personal level and formulate investment objectives as a consequence. This cannot be replaced by technology,” said Stephan Sieder, Chief Operating Officer of CMB.
A low turnover of staff, which is fairly unusual in the banking sector, guarantees the stability that is so important for clients, who need time to establish a trusting relationship with their portfolio managers. CMB has been in business for over 40 years and it has built a client base by offering specific services according to each generation. This ensures that clients establish a long-terms relationship with the bank. By distilling what it is that makes each client and family unique, CMB anticipates specific needs, builds trust and is able to offer a high-quality service. All of this is why CMB was elected Best Private Bank in Monaco in 2018.
A boutique bank with strong values
With CMB now entering its third generation of clients, it remains dedicated to servicing families and helping them grow their wealth. The bank has established four pillars which uphold its ethos: commitment, innovation, diversity, and respect for rules.
CMB’s commitment to its clients, employees, institutions and partners is all about building quality relationships and ensuring the bank’s global reach carries its integral values.
CMB’s commitment can also be seen through its respect for the diversity of its customers and its employees. It reflects this through the various events it organises as an official partner, whether this is for the environment, art, entertainment or sports.
CMB’s drive to be at the forefront of innovation is at the heart of its CMB Academies. The bank also ensures its digital modernisation remains cutting-edge; since June 2017 the S2i e-banking platform has been chosen by 30 private banks across 11 countries.
Finally, CMB’s respect for rules and regulation has led to close relations with the regulator (CCAF, SICCFIN) and its regulatory authority (BDF). This ensures that CMB’s security regulations and compliance operates in accordance with the international markets.