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Be the Change
At the start of 2024, I am cautiously optimistic about the global economy and see further positive development for our group of companies in the coming year. 2023 was a year full of economic and geopolitical challenges, including wars and humanitarian crises that were unprecedented in my lifetime. All this and more will continue to occupy us in the new year.
To help you navigate this complex world, I am enclosing two big-picture overviews with this annual letter: A review of 2023 and a forecast consensus for 2024 based on analysis from around 700 experts, articles, reports, podcasts and interviews.
The new main drivers of the global economy are artificial intelligence (AI), the metaverse and biotechnology. The developments in these areas are breathtaking and are rapidly gaining importance in our everyday lives. Yet AI in particular is a double-edged sword. And so business leaders and politicians are currently trying to formulate the foundations for “good AI”. Let’s hope that this succeeds for the good of mankind. In any case, ChatGPT was also a great help to me when researching this letter.
In San Francisco, Cruise and Waymo received approval in 2023 to offer self-driving robo-taxi services around the clock without a safety driver. This underscores the growing confidence in autonomous vehicle technologies.
Elon Musk, the multi-talented entrepreneur, has received approval for testing brain implants in humans with Neuralink. Musk calls this “Fitbit in your skull”. Chips with brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) could change our lives in a few years, just as AI is currently doing. The science fiction thriller “Brainweb” by Douglas Richards gives neurotechnology fans exciting insights into the fiction of the human brain interacting with the internet.
India has overtaken China as the most populous country. This reminds me of Mahatma Gandhi. His “Be the change” is a good guideline for courageous entrepreneurship in times of change.
Award for best private bank in Liechtenstein
The Fuchsbriefe are like the Gault & Millau or Michelin restaurant guides for banks in German-speaking countries. The awards are based on an independent, careful examination by anonymous test persons.
Last year, our Kaiser Partner Privatbank received the highest rating in Liechtenstein with 83 out of 100 points and was ranked 6th in German-speaking countries. This is a welcome recognition of our focus on the needs of clients. We will again report a very good result for 2023, with growth, an increase in profit and solid key figures. The details will be available at the end of the first quarter.
Our wealth advisory and trust business has its roots in 1931 and serves wealthy families and entrepreneurs. From January 1, 2024, we will integrate this business into our private banking group. This will consolidate our position as a solid, regulated and modern “private trust bank” with digital expertise and an extensive international network.
I would like to thank our clients, the management and our employees from the bottom of my heart and congratulate them on their accomplishment.
With Seawind in the Philippines
In another exciting chapter for our family, we have acquired a 50% stake in three offshore wind projects with a capacity of 1,650 MW in the Philippines with our Seawind Group. All projects are characterized by a five-year exclusive land lease for project development. The projects are the only offshore wind projects to have received the “Green Lane Certificate”, which shortens the approval process. This is a sign of the high level of public and government interest.
We were welcomed as a partner by the Philippine government with our vision for sustainable energy. We are now working together with our Swiss and local Philippine partners to obtain the “Certificate of Commerciality” with a 20-year land use guarantee.
Welcome to Roarington, the new Classic Car Metaland
Roarington is an initiative of The Classic Car Trust (TCCT), which I founded in 2013.
To celebrate its 10th anniversary in May 2023, we opened the doors to this new world where tradition and digital innovation meet in the heart of the classic car world with renowned partners.
In Roarington, famous, valuable cars are given an extra life as digital twins. With our Pininfarina and Zagato simulators – themselves new design masterpieces – you can experience these cars in a whole new way. Easily, at any time, alone or digitally connected with friends. Together with Roarington, museums and collectors can now present their precious exhibits to a new international community. The digital twins make such dream cars immortal and, as NFTs, become digital assets in their own right.
Roarington got off to an impressive start in 2023: With 1.2 million visitors, 500 million digital impressions and with great virtual exhibitions of Pininfarina, Zagato and the National Italian Automobile Museum (MAUTO). The “Roooaar experience” has inspired thousands of people at the Bernina Mountain Race and ICE in St. Moritz, the Red Bull Ring, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year in Monaco, the F1 race in Abu Dhabi and during the World Economic Forum 2024 in Davos. The weekly Roarington newsletter is particularly popular. Roarington also received the international RedDot Award for outstanding corporate design.
All this marks just the beginning of a fascinating journey. In the coming months, Roarington will unfold into a unique digital world, promoting an extraordinary lifestyle of passion around the classic automobile.
In December 2023, BusinessF1 magazine recognized the world’s top 20 ‘Petrolheads’. The list, which reads like a ‘Who’s Who’, includes well-known personalities such as Lawrence Stroll, Roger Penske, Bernie Ecclestone, Mohammed Ben Sulayem (FIA President), Jay Leno, Nick Mason (Pink Floyd), Ralph Lauren and Patrick Dempsey. Many of them are true icons and giants, whether in motorsport, the corporate world or as entertainment stars.
I was surprised and flattered to be included in this list. The award recognizes my role as an entrepreneur and classic car collector and recalls my time as Chairman and co-owner of the Red Bull Sauber Petronas Formula 1 Team. Back then, I brought the Red Bull and Petronas companies into Formula 1, which today are among the most important financial backers in the Formula 1 Circus. What makes me particularly happy for our team is the advance praise we receive from the authors for Roarington.
Compass of life between memory and future
The world is constantly confronting us with new challenges and I face these with a healthy overview, courage and the self-confidence I have gained from personal experiences in the past.
At the same time, the many exciting possibilities of the future fuel my inspiration, innovative spirit and drive. I am happy to pass on this joy, confidence and energy to my family and the employees of our company. In all of this, our world of values is an important compass for us to do the right thing.
The future does not wait and forecasts are difficult. Nevertheless, or perhaps precisely because of this, I look forward to every new day for more positive, unforgettable moments. With this in mind, I wish everyone a good year 2024, filled with learning, laughter and joie de vivre.
Warm wishes for a fulfilling 2024