On the high art of service

In the domestic market, our Corporate and Institutional Clients (CIC) business area looks after 95% of the 200 biggest Swiss companies and more than half of all small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

20 Mar 2018

Corporate client advisor Claude-Michel Nein on his way to the headquarters of Cash Hôtel, a client he has known and supported with his team’s expertise for years.


Yvo Bielmann acquired his passion for the perfect dining culture virtually in the cradle, because his parents ran a restaurant. In 1993, he set up his own company: Cash Hôtel, which has been equipping and supplying the kitchens and dining rooms of hotels, restaurants and hospitals ever since. When, in 2007, Yvo Bielmann wanted to build larger company headquarters in the Fribourg town of Givisiez, he asked UBS for funding. Over the last ten years, Cash Hôtel has grown to become the market leader in the haute cuisine segment in French-speaking Switzerland – and he is still hungry for more. “We believe that our slightly different approach will go down well in German-speaking Switzerland, too,” says Yvo Bielmann, explaining his plans to expand into neighboring regions.

Growth needs an experienced partner

Like many other Swiss SMEs, Cash Hôtel has established close international trading relationships. The result of this is that fluctuating exchange rates have an ever greater effect on the company’s financial situation and make calculating profit margins more and more difficult. “When we did a cash flow analysis for Cash Hôtel, we could see that the exchange rate risk was growing, putting margins at risk and making financial planning difficult,” recalls Bielmann’s corporate client advisor Claude-Michel Nein. “That’s why we advised Yvo Bielmann to protect his company’s foreign currency positions against exchange rate losses, so that he could concentrate on implementing Cash Hôtel’s strategy for growth.” Currency forward contracts proved to be the most efficient way of stabilizing margins. “Depending on the client’s requirements, there is a range of other, bespoke ways of optimizing the situation,” adds Stéphane Mathey. The Head of the CIC business area in French-speaking Switzerland and his team use their expertise to support businessmen like Yvo Bielmann.

We believe that our slightly different approach will go down well in German-speaking Switzerland, too.

Yvo Bielmann, Founder and CEO of Cash Hôtel

Ten years ago, business founder Yvo Bielmann entrusted UBS with financing the construction of the new headquarters. Today we provide him with advice in expanding his business.

Getting better every day

As Switzerland’s leading bank for corporate clients, UBS offers a full range of financial products and services and has a well-collateralized and conservatively managed credit portfolio. The CIC business area is a central pillar of UBS in Switzerland and it works closely with the firm’s Wealth Management, Investment Bank and Asset Management divisions. This allows products and solutions to be tailored to meet the specific financial needs of every individual client. In 2017, UBS was named Best Domestic Cash Manager Switzerland for its first-class service for the seventh year in succession, on the basis of a customer survey carried out by the international finance magazine Euromoney.

To build on this leading position, in 2017 we introduced a number of product and service innovations such as the Remote Expert, a video conference tool that gives corporate clients direct access to product specialists. Two more innovations are the improved account opening app and the Liquidity Cockpit, which enables corporate clients to see all of their companies’ cash flows at a glance and control them easily. UBS has also introduced the multibank-enabled KeyPort portal for medium-sized and large companies, which allows them to handle all their payment processes via a single channel. UBS Atrium was another innovation in 2017. On this new networking platform, mortgage seekers can meet Swiss institutional investors in search of reliable, long-term financing opportunities in Swiss real estate.

Founder and CEO of Cash Hôtel Yvo Bielmann not only discusses business strategies with UBS’s Claude-Michel Nein but also likes to show him his selected range of professional hotel equipment.


 

Lowest electricity consumption ever

In 2017, Asset Management defended the bank’s lead position in international sustainability rankings for property funds. UBS properties, too, are meeting strict environmental standards.

As a corporation, we are consistently reducing our environmental footprint. Simon Heller is in charge of internal environmental management: “We have been setting quantitative targets for reducing UBS’s environmental impact for years, and we operate a comprehensive environmental program. The bank is also involved in various global and national initiatives: for example, we support RE100 and we are committed to obtaining 100% of our electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020.” This resulted in the lowest electricity consumption since the merger that created today’s UBS in 1998.

Increasing energy efficiency

In Switzerland alone, UBS has increased its energy efficiency by more than 35% since 2000, resulting in energy savings of over 14 million francs a year. As a founding member of the Zurich Energy Model, which has been setting targets for increasing energy efficiency and reducing CO² emissions for 30 years, we regularly share experience with other major companies. Furthermore, UBS has also entered into a voluntary agreement on objectives with the national and cantonal governments, under which it is committed to becoming 2% more energy efficient every year.

One current project is the complete renovation of the historic UBS headquarters in Zurich. While taking account of strict heritage reservation requirements, the neoclassical building will also comply with the latest energy and environmental standards.