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blue - the Magazine for Private Clients, Vontobel Private Banking, Theme:Forecasts

Text of blue - Forecasts

  • ForecastsForecasting in a global enterprise:Peter Brabeck: I will fight for every drop of water

    Demographic projections:Old north, young south

    Macro:Global shifts as drivers of new investmentopportunities

    ForecastsForecasting in a global enterprise:Peter Brabeck: I will fight for every dropof water

    Demographic projections:Old north, young south

    Macro:Global shifts as drivers of new investment opportunities

    Vontobel Private Banking The magazine for private clientsWinter Edition 2011

    Vontobel Private Banking Das Magazin fr PrivatkundenAusgabe Frhling 2010

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    Bank Vontobel AG, Mr. Mike Rose, Gotthardstr. 43, P.O. Box, CH-8022 Zurich, Switzerland

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    Vontobel Private Banking The magazine for private clientsWinter Edition 2011


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  • blue is published quarterly.

    We all know that any clear forecast or unambiguous estimate for the future is wrong

    Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman of the Board, Nestl


    Editor Bank Vontobel AGMarketing Private Banking (M. Rose, R. Fh) Gotthardstrasse 43, CH-8022 Zurich Telephone +41 (0)58 283 71 11

    Printing Climate-neutral printing by Schellenberg Druck AG. Published four times per year in German and English. Reproduction, in part or in whole, is strictly prohibited without written permission from Bank Vontobel AG.

    Photographers and illustrationCover: Gallery Stock; pages 3, 27; Jonas Kuhn Fotografie; illustration on page 29: Jrgen Willbarth; page 31 bottom: Alberto Giacometti, Lotar I, 1965, 2010 ProLitteris, Zurich

    English versionJames Wade, Hurst & Freelancers


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  • Editorial/Content

    blue 2/3


    Dear readers,

    I think about the future a lot, because thats the place where Ill be spending the rest of my life.

    This is how Woody Allen answered a question about what was on his mind on his 75th birthday. We have taken this witty quotation to heart it is not only a wry quip but also a sentiment to be taken absolutely seriously. Accordingly, with our editorial theme Forecasts, we grapple with the future from several different points of view.

    I was especially pleased that Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, the Chairman of Nestl, took the time to address our ques-tions. Our very interesting conversation with him put us in

    a reflective mood: Water as a natural resource is becoming scarce, and Brabeck is fighting for every drop. In spite of a gloomy prognosis, however, the optimist is (still) confident in the future.

    Whether the glass is half full or half empty is a question that also occupies Vontobels specialists, whose forecasts are applied to the advantage of our investors. In addition to applying experience and knowledge, thinking in terms of future scenarios to explore the outlook for growth, the debt situation, as well as exchange rate developments will make all the difference in 2011. In the profile of Professor Hens, you will learn about new insights in Behavioural Fi-nance which are being taken more and more into account insights that in Private Banking we will be profitably applying in 2011.

    Wishing your glass is always at least half full.

    Yours sincerely,

    Peter FanconiHead of Private

    Theme: Forecasts Peter Brabeck: I will fight for every drop of water 4 The future, one wing beat ahead 10 The human factor 12 Old north, young south 14

    Macro: Global shifts as drivers of new investment opportunities 18

    Opportunities: Of India and other emerging markets 22

    Blue Pages: News from the Vontobel Group 26

    Care & Share: The laughter of children is the greatest gift I know 28

    Column: Reading the signs 29

    Culture and cuisine: Inside Zurich 30



    o: C



  • Theme

    blue 4/5

    Many companies swear by planning tools and cheerfully produce their five or seven-year plans. Do you do this, too?I dont think much of those things. Nothing but a waste of time! We all know that any clear forecast or unambigu-ous estimate for the future is wrong. This is the first point. The second point: Multi-year plans often lull a company into a false sense of security. They give the executives the impression that they are mastering the future. But we are not mastering anything at all. The only thing we can do is observe the changes in every market very closely, and immediately respond to these changes. For example, I am not aware of any bank in the world that predicted the financial crisis in its multi-year plan. And yet, for the entire banking industry, this crisis was by far the most seismic event that has occurred in the last few years.

    Worldwide, Nestl sells 1.2 to 1.3 billion products every day. This requires enormous knowledge about peoples needs. Do you rely on forecasts to do this?Nestl is economically successful because we do not believe in a global consumer. We believe instead that every consumer on earth is anchored locally and wants to be perceived as an individual. We dont need forecasts for this. We simply try to care about 6.5 billion citizens of the world as individually as possible.

    What does that mean in concrete terms?We need an organization that is as close as possible to everything the consumer can see, smell and taste. This is the only way we can learn how consumer behaviour is

    Nestl is the largest food company in the world. If you think of Nestl, you think of Peter Brabeck-Letmathe. Since 1997, the 66-year-old Austrian has been at the helm of the company, leading it to its present position. In our conversation with Brabeck, he discusses forecasting the future, challenges in the company, and water. Water, he says, is the basis of life, and it is threatened today like never before in human history.

    Peter Brabeck: I will fight for every drop of water

    Interview by Peter Fanconi and Johann Thalheimer

    Theme: Forecasting in a global enterprise

    changing. So on the one hand, Nestl must be as decen-tralized and close to the market as possible. On the other hand, because we also want to be efficient, our operations need to function in a highly centralized manner.

    How do you reconcile these two countervailing demands?As recently as fifteen years ago, Nestl was a supertanker a supertanker of the food industry. Now a supertanker is something very powerful, but it is not very nimble. In the market of the future, the only company that is going to be successful is the one that can quickly and flexibly respond to customer needs. So we began to rebuild the Nestl supertanker. Today, Nestl is organized entirely differently: We have a fleet of faster, smaller attack ships. Th