Cookies on the LLB Website

Cookies help us with technically operating our websites and to customise the website to your needs and improve it. We kindly ask you to permit the use of analytics cookies besides the use of necessary technical cookies. Read More

Accept all Accept only necessary Cookie Settings
LLB Annual Report 2023 de

Information unaudited Information ungeprüft Project “Rhenus” or Growth market: Germany

In LLB Private Banking, one term was heard again and again in the 2023 business year: “Rhenus”. This is not only the Latin word for the river Rhine, but also the name of LLBʼs internal project for expansion in the German market. In this interview, Urs Müller, Head of Private and Corporate Banking, and Martin Heutschi, Head Private Banking, talk about the background of Rhenus and the expectations.

Project Rhenus is in the implementation phase. Since January 2024, LLBʼs local presence has for the first time included three locations in Germany. Why the leap into the German market?

Urs Müller: We have seen an increase in demand from German clients in recent years. They are looking for a secure, stable, and high-quality financial centre outside their country and the EU. Liechtenstein is, without a doubt, one of the most secure financial centres in the world. In addition, LLB has always impressed clients with its outstanding advisory and product quality. Against this background, establishing a local presence was the next logical step in serving our German clients.

Urs Müller, Head Retail and Corporate Banking, and Martin Heutschi, Head Private Banking, talk about the background and expectations of the “Rhenus” project.

Did cross-border business no longer meet the demand?

Martin Heutschi: For legal and tax reasons, our cross-border advisors canʼt be active in Germany every day. It would also not be efficient to travel constantly from Liechtenstein. Proximity to our clients is very important to us, and we also want to raise our profile in an important market with offices in Munich, Frankfurt, and Düsseldorf. In short: We want to utilise the positive momentum in our offshore business in order to grow further in Germany.

“We have seen an increase in demand from German clients in recent years.”

Urs Müller, Head Retail and Corporate Banking

How exactly is LLB positioning itself in Germany?

Urs Müller: In the German market, we place a particular focus on private banking and business with independent asset managers. As already mentioned, we are able to offer our clients what they are looking for: stability, security, and quality. Our Aa2 deposit rating and our main shareholder, the Principality of Liechtenstein, are two key elements that underscore this claim.

Who are the target clients?

Martin Heutschi: In general, we are targeting private individuals with liquid assets of at least one million euros. This sets us apart from many foreign banks, which often have entry thresholds of five or ten million euros. Our primary focus is on entrepreneurs and the middle class. We also focus on independent asset managers and family offices, which we support with our services as a custodian bank. Asset protection is very important to our target groups. Liechtenstein, as a debt-free country with a AAA rating, and LLB, as one of the most trustworthy banks in the world, offer the best conditions for meeting this need. We also have outstanding investment expertise, as evidenced by numerous awards in this field.

How can LLB thrive in the large German market?

Urs Müller: We have decades of experience with German clients and have accordingly already achieved a certain level of recognition in the market. Because we and our clients are German-speaking, LLB is operating in one of its home markets, so to speak. In addition, we have a focus strategy and products and services with a booking location in Liechtenstein, so we occupy a niche. With this, we are bringing a breath of fresh air to the German market.

The hard currency of the industry is assets under management. Is there a specific target figure and a timetable for achieving that target?

Martin Heutschi: The goal is for our German business to become profitable as quickly as possible. Our advantage is that our branch in Germany is very lean. We concentrate on sales, while the entire back office remains in Liechtenstein.

Urs Müller: Due to the great demand from German clients for our private banking services, I am convinced that our local presence will reach break-even in a relatively short time and make a positive contribution to LLBʼs overall result. In addition to security and stability, our success factors are – above all – competence and cultural proximity.

As we all know, the Rhine doesnʼt end in Düsseldorf. Are there further plans for expansion in Germany?

Urs Müller: There are currently no such plans. But of course we are monitoring the market very closely and will take advantage of opportunities as they arise.

“The goal is for our German business to become profitable as quickly as possible.”

Martin Heutschi, Head Private Banking