Disclose 27, Focus piece 2: Report on the lodging and tourism industry

Disclose – PwC’s online magazine

«It takes people, digital technologies and trust to achieve top performance.»

Reading our latest issue of Disclose (disclose.pwc.ch/27/) you’re sure to get an adrenaline rush as we investigate a topic with particularly close connections to sport: high-performing organisations.

Focus piece 2 gives you an insight into the report on the lodging and tourism industry:

Despite the strong franc, Switzerland has been able to maintain its reputation as a top destination in recent years. But for how much longer? To satisfy the high expectations of their guests, tourism providers have to offer them a lot for their money. This calls for clearly positioned offerings and high-quality service. With well-trained staff, intelligent big data tools and smart cooperation, operators can provide people with authentic experiences and gain loyal customers and new market share in lucrative segments. To do this they need to aspire to perfection but at the same time be willing to accept that you can’t make every guest segment happy at the same time.

Read the full report here.


Nicolas Olivier Mayer
Partner, EMEA Industry Leader Lodging & Tourism, PwC Switzerland
Tel. +41 58 792 21 91

Disclose 27, Focus piece 1: High-Performing Teams

Disclose – PwC’s online magazine

«It takes people, digital technologies and trust to achieve top performance.»

Reading our latest issue of Disclose (disclose.pwc.ch/27/) you’re sure to get an adrenaline rush as we investigate a topic with particularly close connections to sport: high-performing organisations.

Focus piece 1 gives you an insight into the topic High-Performing Teams:

High-Performing Teams: Teams bring out the best in everyone

If you want to make the pace you have to set yourself high standards and give your very best performance. Many business leaders wonder if it’s possible to achieve this with their current crew. We believe it is. There’s more to a good team than the abilities of its individual members. By building trust, bringing people closer together, introducing and promoting a healthy culture of debate, and ensuring that everyone clearly recognises the common objective and the contribution they can make towards it, you can exploit this potential – and harness the power of high-performing teams for the benefit of your business.

Read more about the topic High-Performing Teams.


Charles Donkor
Partner, People and Organisation, PwC Schweiz
Tel. +41 58 792 45 54

Fit for Growth: or what financial services leaders striving to grow and prosper can learn from wise gardeners

Smart businesspeople, like good gardeners, realise that you have to cut back to stay strong and stimulate growth. On 1 February, a select group of financial industry leaders came to our event on Strategy&’s Fit for Growth* approach to find out how some of the world’s leading organisations have learned how to compete and flourish by pruning intelligently and channelling their resources into the strongest and most vital parts of their operation – and how they could apply this know-how to their own business.

Business leaders are actually more like commercial fruit growers than amateur gardeners: there’s a lot more at stake if your whole survival depends on making the right choices. You have to prune back to survive and compete, but if you cut back too much or in the wrong places you can destroy the whole basis of your growth and livelihood. Strategy&’s Fit for Growth framework documents some spectacular examples of companies that have got cost-cutting wrong and gone under as a result.

But the people who came to the event on Fit for Growth (FFG) were more interested in stories of how to get it right. After a welcome by Daniel Diemers, Utz Helmuth and Torsten Eistert briefly introduced the FFG methodology. On the basis of decades of helping some of the world’s leading organisations to cut costs intelligently and invest in profitability, Strategy& – PwC’s strategy consulting arm – has come up with a highly effective approach called Fit for Growth. The idea of Fit for Growth is to make deliberate, holistic choices that will enable you to

  • focus on your unique differentiating capabilities
  • align your cost structure around ‘good’ and ‘bad’ costs and redistribute costs to make room for investment in differentiation and innovation
  • harness artificial intelligence and other digital technologies to help you achieve these goals.

The event continued with a keynote speech by PwC’s European Data & Analytics Advisory Leader, Christian Kirschniak, on how data analytics and artificial intelligence can fit into the Fit for Growth approach and help businesses achieve these goals.

Participants went away with some new and valuable insights into how to compete and succeed in an increasingly competitive climate – how to tread the line between cutting back too much and destroying your organisation’s vitality, and assessing your strengths so that you can prune wisely for growth and continued profitability.

*Fit for Growth is a registered service mark of PwC Strategy& LLC in the United States.


Utz Helmuth
+41 58 792 3159

New Publication: Climate Change and the Insurance Industry

Taking Action as Risk Managers and Investors – Perspectives from C-level executives in the insurance industry

Over the last months we have been able to support Geneva Association on the development of the report ‘Climate Change and the Insurance Industry: Taking Action as Risk Managers and investors’ as a client engagement. We interviewed (and obtained written responses from) 62 group CEOs, CROs, CUOs and CIOs of 21 primary insurance and reinsurance companies. Please find the reporting below.

Read more


Patrick Maeder
Advisory Partner



Cut costs and grow stronger – Join our Fit for Growth Event

You don’t need us to tell you how tough it is to cover your costs in today’s global, digitally disintermediated financial services market, never mind post healthy profits.

What we can offer you is a proven approach to enable you to grow stronger and achieve healthy, lasting profitability.
We call this approach Fit for Growth, and it has already helped some of the world’s most prominent players get in shape to compete and flourish.

We’d like to invite you to join us and peers from the financial services industry for an evening on our Fit for Growth approach on Thursday, 1 February 2018. Basically you’ll find out how to grow stronger by making deliberate, holistic choices on where to invest in new cost-cutting technologies and where to cut costs, and in particular

  • how to focus on the unique differentiating capabilities
  • how to align your cost structure around ‘good’ and ‘bad’ costs and redistribute costs to create room to invest in differentiation and innovation
  • how artificial intelligence and other digital technologies will help you achieve these goals.

We’ll be starting the evening with a brief introduction to cost-cutting with our Fit for Growth framework, followed by a keynote speech from PwC’s European Data & Analytics Advisory Leader Christian Kirschniak on how data analytics and artificial intelligence can help you achieve these goals.

This evening will be well worth your while. We look forward to seeing you on 1 February!

Click here to register online

Please note that seats are limited.

Date and Time
Thursday, 1 February, 2018
18:00 – 19:30, followed by an apéro

Savoy Baur en Ville
Poststrasse 12
8001 Zürich

This time our new Fit for Growth* Event addresses mainly the financial service industry. In our next events we will cover other industries as well.

Utz Helmuth
+41 77 409 4571

*Fit for Growth is a registered service mark of PwC Strategy& LLC in the United States.

Case study: Moving into the digital world in less than 60 days


The PwC experience from FRIDAY

The Berlin start-up FRIDAY is shaking up the automobile insurance market with a new type of platform for digital motor vehicle products. Working alongside PwC and US software developer Guidewire, the subsidiary of the Baloise group is capitalising on the momentum of the 4.0 era and making full use of its innovative capacities to produce a cloud-based core system.


Read more



Patrick Maeder
Advisory Partner


Jürgen Schatz
Advisory Senior Manager

2017 APEC CEO Survey China Report

Chinese firms seek growth through trade.

More than 200 CEO’s in China and Hong Kong were interviewed on the theme of A World in Transition. Executives share with us their business confidence levels, their perception of trade trends, how businesses are organising themselves, their operational challenges, and their outlook and expectations of new trade orientations.

Key findings of the China report:

  • Survey revealed that 23% of executives in China think that significant progress has been made towards free trade across the Asia Pacific region in the last 12 months, up from 15% in 2016. Moreover, 33% of the executives surveyed in China believe that revenue opportunities will increase in the next 12 months due to new trade agreements, compared to 27% of APEC respondents.
  • China’s role in APEC is going to get more prominent as opportunities for exports and fixed asset investments emerge from the BRI initiatives. Given this outlook, not only do executives in China expect APEC to play a larger role in facilitating economic growth and cooperation for the region, accelerating economic integration of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) (33%) and facilitating labour mobility (26%) are priorities identified by executives in China.
    Survey found that 39% of the executives in China are “very confident” about their company’s prospects for revenue growth in the next 12 months compared to 24% who reported the same in 2016 .
  • In terms of digital transformation, survey shows that the percentage of executives in China “automating certain functions in their organisation” will increase from 64% today to 83% in three years.
  • In terms of emerging technology impacting the workforce, about 51% of executives in China reported that they expect to move to new structures of employment including more ‘gig’ talent and outsourced labour in three years compared to 31% of the executives today.


Read the full paper

Geneva NPO Breakfast – 05.12.2017 – Building lasting trust

Political circles, the business world and the general public have never been more vocal about the issue of trust in society. Yet, trust in institutions has never been this low.

In this adverse context, how can NPOs build lasting trust among stakeholders? How can they be more transparent and demonstrate control and accountability for their activities? How does an increasingly digital and data rich world relate to these questions?

Interested in this topic? Join our Next NPO Breakfast

Please join our next NPO Breakfast on Tuesday, 5 December 2017 to hear our ideas, share good practices within the industry and discuss options for the future, including the following topics:
• Building trust in and around your organization: why bother and how to do it?
• How to control your activities and manage time efficiently?
• GDPR: how to make the most of these new rules?

We look forward to welcoming you at this event!

China Economic Quarterly November 2017

Overall 2017 economy likely to outperform market expectations, despite moderately slower growth in third quarter.

This latest issue of China Economic Quarterly, which provides analysis of major economic data points in China for Q3 2017, summarises main policy developments and discusses hot topics of interest. In the third quarter, China’s GDP growth slowed slightly as expected to 6.8%, partly due to the government’s efforts to rein in property investment and debt risks.

Here are some highlights of the macro economic and policy updates:

  • The economic growth rate in 2017 is likely to demonstrate a better performance than that of 2016 and beat the market expectation of 6.7% thanks to the strong contribution from the service sectors.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has upgraded its economic forecast for China to 6.8% and 6.5% for 2017 and 2018 respectively. This is the fourth time this year that the IMF has upgraded China’s economic forecast.
  • As the national and local governments step up their restrictive policies to further curb speculation, property sales might decrease in the fourth quarter and next year.
  • China’s imports and exports had the best performance amongst all major economic indicators, thanks to the moderate recovery of global economy and fairly strong domestic demand.
  • China will step up efforts to protect the legal rights and interests of entrepreneurs, strengthen protection of intellectual property rights (IPR), fight against monopolies, unfair competition practices and regional protectionism, and remove regulations that undermine fair competition.

Download full report


To read more, you can access the latest issue of China Economic Quarterly by clicking the following links:

China:           www.pwccn.com/ceq
Hong Kong:  www.pwchk.com/ceq

Swiss hospital directors in Sweden

Stockholm, 26/27 October 2017

A delegation of 11 hospital directors from Switzerland visited Stockholm from 26 to 27 October 2017. The trip was organised and led by Brigitte Bieri, Patrick Schwendener and Philip Sommer from the PwC Switzerland healthcare team with support from Sarah Lidé and Jon Arwidson and their team from PwC Sweden in hosting and coordinating parts of the visit.

The delegation, which visits hospitals in other countries every year to gain fresh insights, thought that Sweden was an interesting country to visit, particularly with its well-regarded hospitals such as Karolinska University Hospital. Additionally, the discussions proved that some of the top challenges facing healthcare in Switzerland are similar to what Sweden encounters: (1) how do we finance future healthcare costs; (2) the different areas of governance between different levels of government (federal, regional and local) which sometime contributes to fragmented as opposed to holistic care to the patient; and (3) differences in healthcare governments across the various regions.

What left an impression from their trip was, for one, how the Swedish government has developed a clear vision and roadmap ahead for ehealth:

“You have a very developed ehealth story, which is something we can learn from.” – Nicolaus Fontana, Managing Director, Klinik Adelheid AG, Rehabilitation Center Central Switzerland.

They also found the trips to Södersjukhuset and Nya Karolinska Solna (NKS) insightful. They visited the innovative and forward-looking mockups of the future operating rooms at Södersjukhuset, and had a good discussion with the program management office, where PwC Sweden is also involved. They were impressed by the details that are tested in the mockups and the positive involvement from the staff in improving the new operating rooms. They also had the opportunity to visit the NKS showroom and hear a presentation on how NKS looks at value-based care and has engaged its staff in implementing it in their care flows. The presentation showed in a very honest way the difficulties and challenges facing during a change management process.

“How NKS has approached change management has been inspiring. We all know that change hurts, but maybe we should be more innovative in approaching this and also considers changes at the basis of our system.” – Fortunat von Planta, Director, Kantonsspital Uri and President of the Association “Zentralschweizer Spitäler”.

“It was interesting to observe the different approaches between the two hospitals towards the construction of new buildings and how and to what level they were engaging their employees in the process.” – Kerstin Moeller, Director, Spital Schwyz.

On Friday 27 October 2017, PwC Sweden hosted the delegation at the PwC Stockholm office and held a series of presentations on healthcare in Sweden, including ehealth developments, as well as discussed the implications of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on Swiss hospitals, which, though not under EU, would be impacted whenever they receive EU persons as patients. The delegation was intrigued to learn that – although the new regulations might include some administrative burden – it might also help to improve the internal processes regarding data handling.

“My hospital is just starting a project analysing its administrative processes. We suspected that there are a lot of costs being wasted in this process. Given what I’ve heard about GDPR, I’m now encouraged to include this perspective into the project as well, to see if it is addressed in our administrative processes.” – Kerstin Moeller, Director, Spital Schwyz.

The 11 hospital directors all confirmed that the trip was a great success.

“It’s good to realize that others are also just cooking with water” as Nicolaus Fontana put it. And Fortunat von Planta added: “We become aware that Switzerland has very high standards for hospitals and that a lot of the things we are doing, are very good.”

Also PwC Switzerland and PwC Sweden acknowledged the importance of such trips:

“Leveraging the power of our international network for the benefits of our clients is crucial to be truly distinctive. Thus, we need to use this power not only in specific projects but also in learning situations as experienced during this trip.” – Brigitte Bieri, Deals Healthcare Expert, PwC Switzerland.

“It was interesting to observe that many of the challenges we face are the same across countries. Such trips spur discussions on what we can all do differently to come closer to sustainable healthcare, which is really the aim for every society. The more we can learn from each other and push each other to improve, the better!” – Sarah Lidé, Healthcare Driver Sweden, PwC Sweden.

“Learning together with our clients, gaining fresh perspectives is very valuable. It’s truly a trustful partnership together with our clients. It allows us and our clients to be open-minded and question the status quo.” Philip Sommer, Head Consulting Healthcare, PwC Switzerland.

Last but not least, such trips also enable us to live up to the PwC purpose:

“PwC’s purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. To do so, we need to exploit and leverage the full potential of our experience and insights. Such trips enable knowledge sharing between hospitals and healthcare experts in our firm and at the same time strengthen personal relationships.” – Patrick Schwendener, Head Deals Healthcare, PwC Switzerland.