On a trip to Lake Maggiore, Banque Havilland brings clients closer to automotive culture. We sat down with them behind the wheel and at the table.
The pool terrace of the hotel “Castello dal Pozzo” is perfectly lit. Not too glaring, but still in such a way that the mood remains lively until late in the evening. Normally, no dinner is served on this terrace, but the occasion is special: the private bank, Banque Havilland, with activities in Vaduz and in Zurich, has invited some of its best clients to Northern Italy. The programme includes a classic car excursion and a visit to the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup in Monza, which the bank sponsors.
“We want to offer our clients an experience that money can’t buy” explains Metin Emer. He grew up as the son of Turkish immigrants in Vorarlberg and has been working as a client advisor at Banque Havilland for many years. In the bank’s Vaduz team, the relationship manager is considered as an exceptional talent. Hardly anyone manages to establish long-term and profound client relationships like he does, they say. His focus is on entrepreneurial families from Turkey. Metin Emer has invited only representatives of this type of client to Lake Maggiore. Most of the entrepreneurs came accompanied by their wives, some also with their children.
The evening takes its course. Banque Havilland’s clients are particularly enthusiastic about the wine that is served with the beautifully composed Italian dinner: the top Tuscan Ornellaia in various vintages from 2008 onwards. “That’s my favourite wine,” exclaims one of the guest. The strong, elegant Tuscan flows in large quantities that evening.
The host bank made sure that enough of them were purchased.
Most of the clients were already acquainted with each other before the trip. It was not uncommon for Metin Emer to introduce them to each other. Sometimes new business has even come out of it. He regularly travels to Turkey, always has an open ear and an advisory word for his customers. Not only in financial matters, but also in family matters.
After the main course, a greying, somewhat sturdy gentleman of prime age rises to make an impromptu table speech. He is the wealthiest of the clients present. The man begins to praise the programme so far. “I would not have been able to organise such an exclusive weekend myself. It takes knowledge and contacts.” And he also talks about the special client relationship he has with Banque Havilland and his advisor Metin Emer. Of course, as a client you are happy when the investment strategies offered bear fruit. But the first thing is the quality of the human relationship: Does the advisor understand my needs beyond pure investment returns? The words “trust” and “friendship” often come up in the good-humoured table talk. The fact that the Group CEO of the Luxembourg bank and the CEO of the Swiss-Liechtenstein unit also came to Italy was a great sign of appreciation. And Metin Emer has become a good friend over time. Approving murmurs among the other participants. A few more glasses of Ornellaia, then cocktails and cigars.
The focus of the Lago Maggiore trip is on automotive culture. On the first day of the trip, clients have the opportunity to go on a six-hour tour with Metin Emer in specially organised classic cars. For example, two Ford Mustang convertibles from the 1970s, a Porsche Speedster, a Fiat 124 Spider or an MGB Roadster are available. Some of the ladies also dare to take the wheel. For some of them, it is the first time they have driven a historic vehicle. The wonderful landscapes of Lake Maggiore combine with the elemental power of the jerking engines, the discreet smell of petrol and the strict steering (without “servo”) to create an experience that will be remembered. The experience, which is also physically somewhat strenuous, obviously releases happiness hormones.
The next day, it is off to Monza to the race track. Since this year, Banque Havilland has been supporting the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, which takes place on all European Formula 1 race Sundays. A few hours before Verstappen and Cie., the drivers of the thirteen international teams measure their skills in the racing version of the Porsche 911 GT3. The Swiss racing team of Fach Auto Tech from Sattel (SZ), which is sponsored by Banque Havilland, is also in the running.
With the result that the guests of the customer trip get particularly close to the heart of racing. Before the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, they visit racing team boss Alex Fach senior. He asked: “Would you like to sit in?” to the twenty-year-old son of a bank client. With shining eyes, he squeezes into the tight and narrow cockpit that is only just above the ground. Meanwhile, Metin Emer is talking to the father: “Hey, you never tell my family how much money I have with you?” Metin Emer laughs and replies: “Sure, we’ve talked about that many times.”
During the race, clients cheer on the Swiss racing team, which has now also become a bit of their team. One of the benefits of the partnership between Banque Havilland and the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup is that it extends to certain aspects of Formula 1. Tickets to the big race, for example, are included. And the bank’s clients get the rare opportunity to enter the circuit just a few hours before the Formula 1 race, accompanied by Nadine Eichenberger, team manager at Fach Auto Tech. Selfies in front of the asphalt of Monza, in front of the paddocks and pits of Red Bull or Ferrari: Immediately, the pictures find their way from Monza to friends at home or on Instagram.
The gastronomic highlight of the clients trip is a visit to the “Locanda di Orta”. Here, Michelin-starred chef Andrea Monesi celebrates modern gourmet cuisine with strong regional influences. His restaurant is housed in an old and winding townhouse in the municipality of Orta, which rises above the lake of the same name. Banque Havilland has succeeded in renting the roof terrace exclusively for its clients, and so the large table with a wonderful view over the brilliant blue Lake Orta becomes what feels like the most beautiful place in the world for a few hours.
The petrol-heavy impressions of the weekend have subsided, plates and glasses have been worn down, the cigars have burned up. What remains? Banque Havilland man Metin Emer explains that as a smaller private bank – Banque Havilland manages around four billion francs in client assets in Switzerland and Liechtenstein – you have to come up with something. If Formula 1 is out of reach, alternatives have to be considered. And the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup is just as well received. “It is even more familiar and accessible, which our customers appreciate very much.
Solid banking services, he thinks, are the foundation of his business. “However, these are taken for granted by the customers anyway. What makes a difference is the depth and quality of the personal relationship with the clients. He is pleased that he is considered a bit of a superstar in this discipline in his bank, “but in essence I do old-school private banking, where the human element is at the centre. Private banks would only have a future if they emphasised this aspect more strongly again. At Banque Havilland, too, excellent client advisors are the key to success. The bank is currently investing heavily in new relationship managers. “The numbers follow the people.” In the first half of 2023, Banque Havilland recorded impressive inflows of new money compared to its Liechtenstein competitors, both in relative and absolute terms.