Finance Forum 2002: What now for the financial services industry?

Zurich, 06.09.2002 - Financial and IT specialists will find a trip to Zurich to be particularly worthwhile this November, because the 12th Finance Forum is taking place at the Congress House Zurich on November 5 and 6, 2002. The main theme of this annual meeting of financial and IT leaders is especially topical this year: the future of those business sectors that are currently dominating the headlines.

"What is happening to Switzerland's banks?" This is the question that Professor Beat Bernet of the Swiss Institute of Banking and Finance at the University of St. Gallen (HSG) will be asking at this year's Finance Forum Management Seminar. No less topical is the subject chosen by Christian Perscheck, CEO of AWD Allgemeiner Wirtschaftsdienst AG, as part of the Client Focus block namely "Do comprehensive consulting services have a future in private banking?"

Cost leadership as the decisive factor
IT has become a significant cost factor in both banking and insurance. One special cycle of the Management Seminar at this year's Finance Forum will therefore be devoted exclusively to "Cost Leadership." Here, Prof. Hans Geiger of the University of Zurich will be exploring the question: "Is the technological revolution in banking already over?"

Basel II and its impact on bank information systems
The recommendations of Basel II are that banks in future cover their loans by
creating capital reserves based on each borrower's credit rating,and that these are to be incorporated into national legislation by 2006. Basel II therefore
constitutes a major challenge for banks' data management, as all the relevant systems and computing modules will have to be operational by the launch date. In the "Banking Environment" cycle of the Management Seminar, Harry Stordel, Director of Risk Management at the Credit Suisse Group, will be explaining the consequences of Basel II for his bank.

Basel II has an important role to play on the supply side as well, since the relevant IT solutions have to be in place and operational by 2006. Suppliers such as Systor, Sun Microsystems and SAP will therefore be using the Finance Forum to demonstrate how Basel II requirements can be met on the basis of existing software infrastructures.

Exhibition space fully booked for months.
While other fairs are busy downsizing or are even having to cancel in some cases, the Finance Forum at the Congress House Zurich is as popular as ever, despite the sluggish economy. The 160 stands available were snapped up months ago, with those latest software solutions and outsourcing services that are intended to help cut costs likely to prove the main crowd-pullers. With mySAP Banking, for example, SAP will be demonstrating the software behind the new IT platform of the Zug Cantonal Bank, which has been operating successfully since April. Meanwhile, IBM will be presenting a software for depicting the profitability of individual clients in the private banking sector. Its "fast start" business intelligence solution will enable private banks to give their clients an in-depth understanding of their profitability and products based on a broad overview. This is precisely the kind of information that management needs in order to cut costs and so increase profitability.

The Finance Forum is owned by Systor AG and the Comit Group. Apart from the
proprietors, the Finance Forum partners are IBM, Microsoft, SAP and Sun
Microsystems. Various banks and insurance companies are represented on the
Finance Forum Advisory Council.

The 2nd Finance Forum Sponsored Run is to be held on November 3, 2002. The
proceeds this year will go towards children with cerebral palsy. Some 2000
runners are expected to participate.

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