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?