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30 August 2018

«You always need a good team.»

Swiss Prime Site Solu­ti­ons mana­ges the pro­per­ty port­fo­lio of the Swiss Prime Invest­ment Foun­da­ti­on. New CEO Ana­sta­si­us Tschopp is aiming to extend its first-class ser­vices to new custo­mers while also expan­ding the ran­ge for fur­ther suc­cess.

Sin­ce August, Swiss Prime Site Solu­ti­ons has had a new CEO – and Ana­sta­si­us Tschopp has had a new mis­si­on. We met the 39-year old from Lucer­ne for a chat about sca­le, team sports and his choice to sim­ply hang up his boots.

Prime Tower, 34th floor. Ana­sta­si­us Tschopp is wai­ting for us. He has lots to tell us about his plans and his new tasks as the brand-new CEO of Swiss Prime Site Solu­ti­ons. First of all, though, we take a quick look back:

Mr Tschopp, you are not even for­ty yet and you’ve taken up a chal­len­ging new posi­ti­on at Swiss Prime Site. How did you get here?
I star­ted off by obtai­ning a com­pre­hen­si­ve qua­li­fi­ca­ti­on in the con­struc­tion sec­tor. Howe­ver, alt­hough I did real­ly enjoy my job, I wan­ted to keep lear­ning. So I signed up for busi­ness eco­no­mics at the Lucer­ne Com­mer­ci­al Col­le­ge. Later on, I joi­ned Win­ca­sa, and quick­ly got my first manage­ment func­tions the­re. That was an exci­ting peri­od, and I rea­li­sed that I enjoy taking respon­si­bi­li­ty. My rou­te then took me through the Zurich Air­port Deve­lop­ment Depart­ment, to Credit Suis­se, and then final­ly Swiss Prime Site Immo­bi­li­en, whe­re in par­al­lel with my job I com­ple­ted the two Masters in Real Estate Manage­ment and Ban­king and Finan­ce at the Zurich Uni­ver­si­ty of App­lied Sci­en­ces in Busi­ness Admi­ni­stra­ti­on.

That sounds pret­ty stre­nuous.
Yes, it was an inten­se peri­od. But I enjoy lear­ning, I’m curious and I love chan­ge. I’ve never real­ly plan­ned a long-term care­er path. I’ve just kept taking one step at a time.

Ana­sta­si­us Tschopp’s latest step has taken him from Switzerland’s lea­ding real estate com­pa­ny to a manage­ment posi­ti­on in its smal­ler, youn­g­er sub­si­dia­ry, Swiss Prime Site Solu­ti­ons. «If Swiss Prime Site Immo­bi­li­en is the Atlan­tic Oce­an, Swiss Prime Site Solu­ti­ons might be the Adria­tic Sea» , laughs Tschopp, quick­ly adding: «At least a sea, and any­way it’s hard­ly the size that mat­ters. I can see the enor­mous poten­ti­al in the com­pa­ny, the exi­sting syn­er­gies in the group and ways that the­se can be exploi­ted. That’s what I love about this new chal­len­ge.»

Swiss Prime Site Solu­ti­ons is an inde­pen­dent, inno­va­ti­ve asset mana­ger – small and agi­le. «In fact, we do the same thing as Swiss Prime Site Immo­bi­li­en, but for third par­ties» , exp­lains Tschopp. «That means that the pro­per­ties don’t belong to us. I’m no lon­ger on the same side as the owner, I’m a ser­vice pro­vi­der.» The port­fo­lio of the young com­pa­ny cur­r­ent­ly inclu­des an invest­ment foun­da­ti­on with 230 inve­stors. But the­re is no inten­ti­on to stop the­re. Tschopp has all kinds of ide­as for the future: from inno­va­ti­ve pro­ducts to con­ser­va­ti­ve invest­ment oppor­tu­nities, from mana­ging exi­sting real estate funds for third par­ty busi­nes­ses to deve­lo­ping new funds. Wha­te­ver the idea, Tschopp empha­sises that it is important to offer added value, eco­no­mi­ze bet­ter than others, and make full use of the poten­ti­al and exper­ti­se avail­ab­le in the Swiss Prime Site Group.

«I’ve never real­ly plan­ned a long-term care­er path. I’ve just kept taking one step at a time.»

Mr Tschopp, tell us about the col­la­bo­ra­ti­on wit­hin the Swiss Prime Site Group. What are the syn­er­gies?
Swiss Prime Site Solu­ti­ons is essen­ti­al­ly an inde­pen­dent com­pa­ny. Howe­ver, we have fan­ta­stic net­wor­king wit­hin the group com­pa­nies. We know and help each ano­t­her. For examp­le, we work tog­e­ther to deve­lop tools for pro­ject moni­to­ring, eva­lua­ti­on cri­te­ria and ever­ything rela­ting to pro­ces­ses. The­re is a lot alrea­dy avail­ab­le, we just have to make use of it. It’s a per­fect star­ting point for working effi­ci­ent­ly to achie­ve the Swiss Prime Site Solu­ti­ons goals. This makes me feel very posi­ti­ve.

What are you par­ti­cu­lar­ly loo­king for­ward to about the com­ing mon­ths?
First and fore­most I am loo­king for­ward to working with my team, as we joint­ly shape the future of the busi­ness. And, of cour­se, the exci­ting task of deve­lo­ping a young com­pa­ny and ope­ning up new custo­mer groups.

What are your plans, beyond the ongo­ing deve­lop­ment of Swiss Prime Site Solu­ti­ons?
To start off with, my focus will be on con­ti­nuing to mana­ge our cur­rent man­da­te suc­cess­ful­ly, while deve­lo­ping and streng­t­he­ning our com­pe­ten­ces. After all, this invest­ment foun­da­ti­on is our key refe­rence for future custo­mers. That means we will be working on deve­lo­ping stra­te­gies, fin­ding oppor­tu­nities for per­for­mance impro­ve­ments, and impres­sing custo­mers with our per­for­mance. Intern­al­ly, I would like to anchor the gui­ding princi­ples of Swiss Prime Site in Swiss Prime Site Solu­ti­ons. My goal is for us to do excel­lent work, always kee­ping a sin­gle idea in the fore­ground: to focus on the custo­mer.

Tschopp knows that achie­ving the­se goals will depend on his team. Not so many years ago, he was an ambi­tious foot­ball play­er – cent­re back in the 2nd league – and the les­sons he learnt on the pitch can be app­lied per­so­nal­ly and pro­fes­sio­nal­ly. «All pul­ling tog­e­ther, working as a team – that’s important to me,» he says, » and that means we need respect and an open feed­back cul­tu­re… The oft-cited team spi­rit!»

Tschopp has hung up his foot­ball boots nowa­days. To keep hims­elf fit, he goes jog­ging several times a week and is trai­ning for the Lucer­ne mara­thon. «I ado­re chal­len­ges and I love tack­ling some­thing new» . He doesn’t belie­ve there’s a risk of over­doing it: «I’m pas­sio­na­te about what I’m doing and I know my own bounda­ries.»

«Hust­ling just results in uncer­tain­ty and errors.»

Mr Tschopp, you look very rela­xed. Don’t you feel pres­su­ri­zed by the tasks ahead of you?
I do respect my new posi­ti­on. But I enjoy taking respon­si­bi­li­ty, and I’ve lear­ned from expe­ri­ence that big tasks are best tack­led with a calm approach. Hust­ling just results in uncer­tain­ty and errors. It’s exact­ly the same whe­ther it’s sports or a job.

Is the «light touch» your reci­pe for suc­cess, then?
It might seem that way. But I take a serious, focu­sed approach to my tasks, while remai­ning rela­xed. I always keep loo­king for­ward.

Ana­sta­si­us Tschopp has now taken ano­t­her step for­ward. A new chal­len­ge lies ahead of him. Tschopp takes it up – sportin­g­ly! How else?