Throughout 2023, for our series, we will be interviewing a variety of companies, members, employees and exciting people from our network.

The Swiss Abroad have different needs; emigrating and returning, globetrotting and working abroad touch almost all areas of life. That’s why we rely on expertise and feedback from all kinds of areas. Over the years, we have acquired a lot of knowledge and gathered partners with exciting offers for Swiss people abroad. We are glad to have reliable partners at our side.

This November, we’re on the road with Vanessa Seidmann from the Zürcher Kantonalbank (ZKB) and her team. The Zürcher Kantonalbank’s home base is in Zurich, but they are at home throughout the world.

How would you describe yourself and your team? Who do we meet when we come to your office?

Proactive, committed and interested people who are passionate about everything regarding the Swiss Abroad! We attach great importance to diversity in the workplace, and we have a mix of people from a variety of different backgrounds. In particular, what makes our team stand out is that most of our employees have been Swiss expats, speak a variety of languages and know different cultures. In addition, our team colleagues are experienced relationship managers and have a broad knowledge of banking.

The understanding of other cultures, the knowledge of the political idiosyncrasies or other peculiarities of individual countries, in addition to our expertise, are the main reasons why our customers feel understood and comfortable in our hands.

You offer dedicated services for the Swiss Abroad. What motivates you and what added value does the Zürcher Kantonalbank offer? What makes you stand out from your competition?

Nowadays, many Swiss banks no longer offer business relationships for Swiss expats or require considerable assets to open an account. Our approach is to remain a bank that Swiss expats can still rely on. Thanks to our many years of experience, we understand the needs and complexity of their circumstances. What also makes us stand out is the worldwide support we offer. This means that there is no change in their reference people as a result of a change of residence.

What’s your goal? If five years from now you are still working in the same sector, what would you like your organisation to achieve?

To be the leading bank for the Swiss abroad – worldwide, regardless of their assets, based on a customised and, above all, personal approach.

What does the concept of home mean to you and where do you feel at home?

In general, it’s probably the place where you were born and raised. A place that you feel a deep connection with. For me, this is currently Zurich, as my family and friends are here. In the past, when I lived abroad as a Swiss expat, Hong Kong also become my home. I was fortunate to be surrounded by many great people who made my time abroad unforgettable.

Is there anything that would make your job easier or better? If yes, can you elaborate?

It would be great if I could meet my clients more regularly in person. An email, a phone call or even a video call simply does not replace personal contact for me. A personal conversation allows you to better identify the needs of clients and to offer the most suitable solutions accordingly. In addition, it creates even stronger trust, which is the basis for successful cooperation.

Is there any advice or tips you would like to share with future expatriates?

I would recommend that they deal with all issues relating to the move at an early stage. For this, they can use the Checklist for the Swiss Abroad. They also need to be patient, especially at the beginning, as there are lots of things to sort out when you move abroad, both in Switzerland as well as in your new country of residence.

(Vanessa Seidmann, Team Leader Private Banking International / Vice President at Zürcher Kantonalbank, Zürcher Kantonalbank)

Photo by Amy Shamblen on Unsplash