Case study: Where is the best place to put securities?

Selection of international central depositories for securities


The Vontobel Group has three business units – Private Banking, Investment Banking and Asset Management – and specialises in portfolio management for both private clients and institutional investors. The company was founded in 1934 and now employs around 1,400 people.

Selection of international central depositories for securities

The Vontobel Group works with a variety of international central securities depositories (for securities or portfolio management). These central custodian banks offer a range of different service models, and their pricing models also differ. That makes it very difficult to assess them objectively and select the best one for a particular purpose. 

Objective comparison of providers

Seeking to get an objective and comparable overview of the various providers and identify potential for cutting costs, the Vontobel Group turned to PwC. A team of three PwC consultants helped the Vontobel team to obtain an objective comparison of the providers and reduce costs

Since we have been collaborating with PwC, the credibility of our services has risen.

Peter Camenzind, Head of Transaction Banking


The providers were evaluated objectively in a structured process based on an examination of the facts. Although it was extremely difficult to compare the various providers, this method made it possible to identify the most suitable providers.

Communication critical to success

The existing relationship of trust between PwC and the Vontobel Group team and open communication between all involved contributed significantly to the success of the project. Right at the outset, a number of workshops were held at different levels in order to identify and structure the problem from a technical and strategic perspective.

Identifying the ideal provider based on its client portfolio

Potential custody service providers were identified based on a comprehensive analysis of their client portfolios. By evaluating the results of a streamlined, structured tendering process, the PwC team was able to identify the providers that represented the best fit for Vontobel. By comparing providers objectively in this way, based on an examination of the facts, finding the best offers in the future will be a straightforward process.

Significantly reduced costs

Based on the results of the tendering process, PwC was able to present the Vontobel Group with three specific proposals for bringing about improvement. Substantial cost savings were made as a result of these price-optimised solutions.


Vontobel, a bank with a rich tradition, has been entrusting projects to PwC in a wide variety of areas for many years now. In order to meet the bank's requirements to the fullest possible extent, workshops were organised to begin with. This client-oriented approach and the success achieved together further strengthened what was already a strong working relationship. For Vontobel the benefits were as follows:

Resource utilisation kept to a minimum

PwC's project management and specialist skills made it possible to find the best possible solutions within a short space of time. Thanks to efficient, purposeful communication with the custody service providers, the resources the bank had to allocate to the project were kept to a minimum.

Sustained cost savings

The cost structures were analysed in such a way that, even if the pricing of the providers changes, an objective comparison is still possible. The Vontobel Group thus has a lasting cost comparison solution.

Increased appeal of the bank to clients

Thanks to the collaboration with PwC, the Vontobel Group has been able to significantly improve its cost efficiency in the custody field. As a result, the bank can make competitive offers to its B2B clients and thus make itself more attractive to them.


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Marc Lehmann

Operational Excellence & ESG Transformation Leader, PwC Switzerland

+41 58 792 26 50