The key ingredients to a successful career in Wealth Management – Marco Schaller (BIL Switzerland)

Banque Internationale à Luxembourg is recruiting Relationship Managers specialising in Wealth Management to join their Zurich office. Marco Schaller, Head of Private Banking at BIL Switzerland, explains some of the skills needed to excel in the role and what prospective candidates can expect from a career at the bank.


How long have you been working at Banque Internationale à Luxembourg (BIL) and what is your role within BIL Switzerland?

I joined BIL Switzerland in January 2016 as Head of the bank’s Wealth Management business. I am also a member of BIL’s Executive Committee. My mission is to provide excellent wealth services for our clients and book business in our core markets and regions. I do this by hiring talented Relationship Managers whose skillset match our unique business proposition and culture. Finding the right people can help us grow as a business and keep our clients happy.


Where does BIL Switzerland operate and what is its mission?

BIL is currently operating in several core markets, including the Middle East, China, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Our aim is to become a valued partner in active wealth, meaning wealth that is still in the process of being created. We also help entrepreneurs grow their businesses and preserve wealth. We are in a unique position as we can leverage the entire range of products and services provided by the BIL Group. That means unlike many traditional Swiss banks in the wealth management space, we can offer additional services like lending, corporate advisory services and wealth structuring.


How would you describe the job of a Relationship Manager at BIL Switzerland and how does it differ from other wealth managers?

In a nutshell, the job of a Relationship Manager at BIL is to develop a network of clients in our target markets and service them using the bank’s unique value proposition. The role of a Relationship Manager differs slightly at larger banks where they are often handed business opportunities. At BIL we ask Relationship Managers to develop their own network of clients independently. That means identifying the clients, follow the bank’s rigorous due diligence processes, understanding their needs and using the bank’s offering to add value. Relationship Managers are very much in the driving seat and oversee the deal from beginning to end.


How would you describe the mindset needed to thrive as a Relationship Manager?

Relationship Managers need to be client-centric. Clients are really at the centre of what we do here at BIL so in order to thrive you need to place the client first. You must be willing to listen to them, understand their needs and work hard to find a solution. Our Relationship Managers also need to have an entrepreneurial spirit. Our wealth solutions are not pre-packaged, so it is important that a Relationship Managers can work with colleagues and develop solutions tailored to their clients’ needs. They also need to know the nuances of their market and clients well. So, for example, in order to build a deep meaningful relationship with a client in Russia it is vital that the Relationship Manager has a good understanding of the Russian market, speaks Russian and is able to meet their client locally.


Five reasons to join BIL Switzerland


  • Join a growing market with great opportunities
  • A high degree of autonomy in the workplace
  • Access to a wide breadth of wealth products and services
  • Client-centric approach to banking
  • Excellent work-life balance


What are the three characteristics you value most in a Relationship Manager?

The three Cs - Care, Collaborate and Create – are the characteristics we look for in candidates during our recruitment process. In other words, we value people who care about their clients and the Bank’s reputation. We want people who can collaborate with other team members and are willing to cooperate for the greater good of the organisation. Finally, we look for entrepreneurs who can innovate and offer clients a unique service.


What can you expect from a career at BIL Switzerland?

One of the great things about working at BIL is you get a high degree of autonomy in the workplace. Given the nature of our business, which is largely relationship-driven, our Relationship Managers are given the freedom to develop innovative solutions and explore new opportunities. It means that while you will be expected to report regularly on business matters, you won’t be micromanaged.

The Bank’s relatively modest size is also a huge advantage. We are large enough to offer clients a wide breadth of products and services, but also small enough to develop close personal relationships with our clients. This puts us on a strong footing against some of our larger competitors and it means we have a strong value proposition that can attract clients with complicated wealth needs.

BIL employees also benefit from a good work-life balance. We are a small team of over 100 people, of which approximately 40 work in front office functions. Our office is based in the heart of Zurich, a vibrant and modern city. We operate a flat hierarchy where everyone’s input counts regardless of age or position. Being a relatively small team, we collaborate closely with one another and promote teamwork. It’s a very dynamic and open environment.


Interested in becoming a Relationship Manager? Please apply here.

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