In February 2020, IAG members met in the Swiss city of Zürich, against the dramatic backdrop of Lake Zürich and the European Alps.
The Business Session opened with a welcome from Chairman John Ridgway to IAG delegates from across the world. John delivered an overview of the recent and planned activities of the Board, and the IAG strategy, and then introduced our first guest speaker. Mario Fehr, Member of the Government Council and Head of the Department of Security of the Canton of Zürich welcomed IAG to the city and gave an informative overview of the history of Switzerland and the Canton of Zürich.
Our kind Swiss host law firm Staiger then introduced their firm to the Assembly, and delegates were treated to a thought-provoking and entertaining address from IAG senior statesman and senior Staiger partner Hans-Rudi Staiger, who was the second ever Chairman of IAG. The law firm Staiger was one of our first members, joining IAG in the year of its founding over thirty years ago and this was the fourth time the firm has hosted IAG in Zürich.
Delegates then enjoyed an interesting presentation from our next guest speaker, Michael Syz, Director of Pictet Wealth Management at Banque Pictet. Mr Syz spoke on “The Global Positioning of the Swiss Banking Market”, including an overview of Pictet and its operations.
IAG is very grateful to all of our guest speakers for taking the time out of their busy schedules to address our Assembly.
Later in the Business Session we heard from two prospective IAG members, with law firms from the Netherlands and Spain each presenting on their firms and their jurisdictions. IAG members were then delighted to officially ratify the Indian, New Delhi-based law firm Chambers of Rajan & Indraneel as an IAG member.
IAG members from Switzerland, England and the US then provided a snapshot of key trends in their home professional services markets before opening it up to a Plenary Discussion that covered issues including diversity, remuneration and costs in professional services firms. Members were still very engaged discussing these issues when time constraints brought the session to a close.
Outside the Business Session, IAG members and their guests were treated to a very enjoyable social programme. Our excellent hosts Staiger welcomed everyone to their offices in central Zürich for a Welcome Reception on the first evening, and organised memorable dinners and activities for members and guests to enjoy over the next two days. An afternoon spent learning the winter sport of Curling, played on ice, will stay in our memories for many years to come.
As always with IAG Assemblies, at the heart of our meeting in Zürich was the opportunity for members and their guests to get together, catch up with IAG friends or get to know new members, and in many cases form long-lasting working relationships around the world.