LGT Group is the largest family-owned private banking and asset management group owned by the Princely Family of Liechtenstein. As one of the last family-run private banks, it is a sizeable family business with almost 5,000 employees in 25 locations in Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East. Sebastian Goeres, Senior Executive Officer of LGT Middle East in Dubai, talks about what this means for clients.
LGT is a family-owned business. How has that impacted the company?
LGT has been owned by the Princely Family of Liechtenstein for almost 90 years. Such continuity shows the family’s dedication to the business over a long period of time and sends a strong message to both clients and employees. We think in terms of generations rather than quarters. While this long-term continuity and stability is advantageous for the company, it is even more so for our clients, particularly at a time when the financial sector is facing challenges. In contrast to more fragmented ownership structures, LGT benefits from having an entrepreneurial family at the helm. Our clear ownership structure enables us to make business decisions quickly and independently. Instead of having to focus on the next quarterly results, we take a longer-term approach and to act in the best interests of our clients and the business.
The family’s values such as respect, trust and consistency are an integral part of our corporate culture and have thus significantly shaped the growth of LGT. These values are a key unifying element, especially after numerous years of strong growth.
Is the fact that LGT is a family-owned business relevant for clients in the Middle East?
Absolutely. We work with numerous families and their family offices across the region, whose companies play an important role in the region’s economic dynamics. Over the past several decades, these businesses have developed from small companies into large global conglomerates and became the backbone of their respective economies in the region.
The Princely Family also has a history of entrepreneurship, and that experience helps us in our work with regional business families. When we talk to them about matters such as family governance, succession planning and wealth preservation, we’re discussing issues that our owner themselves have been dealing with for generations. And we share this expertise with our clients, which is very well received and appreciated.
How did the Princely Family gain so much experience in this area?
The Princely Family has existed for 900 years and for 26 generations. It has continuously evolved and passed on its entrepreneurial spirit. This phenomenon began when the family started to use its land for agriculture and forestry. However, it soon learned that, in addition to an entrepreneurial approach, there are two other key success factors in these sectors: a sustainable approach and continuous innovation.
Over the years, the Princely Family has added companies and businesses, from other industry sectors to its portfolio, including banking and asset management. Despite this expansion, however, the success factors have not changed. Thus, LGT’s long-term, sustainable strategy is in fact the embodiment of the family’s centuries-old entrepreneurial character. And as a family-owned company, LGT can make decisions more independently and with a focus on its long-term goals, unlike companies whose shares are traded on the stock exchange.
Can you give us some other examples of LGT’s independence and long-term focus?
One example is our international expansion. For two decades now, we have been steadily growing – even during economic slowdowns. Since the opening of our DIFC entity ten years ago, LGT Group has expanded its activities to India and Australia.
Our long-term approach is also reflected in our very high number of long-tenured employees and our long-term presence in jurisdictions we enter.
How important are the assets of the Princely House for LGT?
The Princely House is a major client of our bank. The fact that we manage our owner's assets creates a unique alignment of interest between our clients and our owner, because both want the same positive outcome for their investments. At LGT, qualifying clients also have the opportunity to invest alongside the Princely Family.
Why else do your clients prefer to work with LGT?
Clients like working with LGT because of our unique understanding of wealth management, commitment to family values, strong track record, focus on sustainability and, of course, our personal approach. Our culture is rooted in the values of the Princely Family of Liechtenstein. We take a holistic approach to wealth management and our clients can count on LGT to take a long-term perspective and act in their best interests. This fosters a sense of trust and confidence that is pivotal for building lasting relationships.
Another reason that clients want to work with us is LGT’s strong emphasis on sustainability and impact investing – something we have been focusing on for many years now. Many clients want their investments to reflect their values, and so sustainability is a topic that they are increasingly interested in. They want to have a positive impact on society and the environment with their investments, and we can help them achieve that.