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CMB: the art of listening

Conducted in a private atmosphere – as is usual with the Compagnie Monégasque de Banque –editor-in-chief Petra Hall shares a conversation with Chief Operating Officer and Director of Business Development Stephan Sieder...

Stephan Sieder is pictured at the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco. Copyright Semmy DemmouWhat do Swiss and Monegasque private banks have in common? Both offer their clients banking services within a framework of high political and economic stability, an important requirement if you want your money to be guarded safely. In addition, investor protection and expertise play a vital role in securing and retaining the trust of clients. As Monaco is subject to French rules in many areas regarding its banking system, its banks operate within a regulatory framework at the highest standards.

Compagnie Monégasque de Banque (CMB) attaches a very special importance to the personal relationships it has with its clients. According to Stephan Sieder: “Many large banks reduce customer contact via automated services. At CMB, however, we think a good service relationship translates into a good personal relationship. Technology, for example, doesn’t allow proper analysis of the risks an investor is willing to take and the definition of precise investment objectives for the individual. Furthermore, consultants often change, weakening trust in the relationship with clients.”

Sieder continues, “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.”

That the native Austrian is proud of the many long-standing client relationships of CMB, which has existed for 40 years, is heard and felt clearly. Employees are also loyal to the bank and many of them have been working for CMB for up to three decades. A crucial part of their careers is continuous training in many fields, such as international tax queries, new developments in the financial industry and innovative systems for payment transactions.

“New technologies are interesting for CMB,” Sieder explains, “when improving and supporting our relationship with clients. In the near future, electronic signatures will become anchored in Monegasque law, allowing clients to sign contracts and other official documents at distance and therefore better connect with the bank. It also means time-saving and paper reduction and enables a smooth handling of administrative issues. Another example is the secured email feature within CMB’s internet banking service, which allows the client to contact his or her advisor when travelling or unable to come directly to the bank. To CMB, the successful bank of tomorrow is the one that will guard the trust of its clients and act as a privileged partner in all financial dealings, using new technologies to foster personal service.” 


Petra Hall