Security over profits. The Swiss market leader sets store by currency hedging.
Schenker Storen AG places a high priority on its foreign exchange transactions – not on currency gains, but on security. What is the company's primary currency risk? How does the market leader in sun and weather protection use forward transactions to a strategic advantage? Watch the video interview with Helmut Jehle, the CEO of the Schenker Storen Group, to find out.
Currency risk: Hedge against volatile fluctuations in exchange rates
Schenker Storen AG is the country's market leader in sun and weather protection. To protect its own business from stormy weather on the foreign exchange markets, the Swiss company relies on currency hedging. After all, Schenker Storen Group owns not only Schenker Storen AG, domiciled in Switzerland, but also subsidiary Ehret GmbH in Germany, and its production site Schenker Stores France SA in France.
The Schenker Storen Group set up shop in international markets long ago, serving not only Switzerland but also Germany, France, and Italy. So careful currency management is part of the daily business, as Helmut Jehle, CEO of the Schenker Storen Group, can tell you.
A long-standing partner in foreign exchange transactions
For more than 30 years now, Schenker Storen AG has relied on Credit Suisse as its partner for foreign currency transactions. The Bank for Entrepreneurs supports the Swiss company with comprehensive advice, and is available to help whenever needed. Schenker Storen AG genuinely appreciates this one-of-a-kind support and places great trust in its banking partner. It's all thanks to those in charge at Credit Suisse, the relationship manager of many years, and the FX expert.
Mr. Hofstetter, you've assisted Schenker Storen AG for about 20 years now. That's a long time! How would you describe this partnership?
Rolf Hofstetter*: We maintain a very close and personal relationship. We at Credit Suisse and our contacts at Schenker Storen AG have been in business for a long time. So over the years, we have cultivated a solid, trustworthy business relationship.
Mr. Mesmer, you have also assisted Schenker Storen AG on forex matters for a long time. What do you like the most about this long-term stability?
Jürg Mesmer*: We have a very honest and productive relationship with our contacts – we almost feel like colleagues. Of course, this is based on a great deal of mutual trust.
What are the main areas in which you advise the company?
Rolf Hofstetter: The areas in which we assist a company depend on the company's current cycle. At the moment, we are assisting Schenker Storen AG particularly in the areas of letters of credit, forex, and payment transactions. If needed, I bring in additional specialists. So when it comes to foreign exchange, I am in regular contact with my colleague Jürg Mesmer.
How does this partnership work behind the scenes?
Rolf Hofstetter: We maintain very constructive and open communication. Everyone is involved constantly, because we keep each other up to date on the latest information. This helps us keep a steady flow of information and guarantees to our clients that everyone involved is up to date.
Jürg Mesmer: One area of priority for Schenker Storen AG, for instance, is hedging currency risks. Because we have both been working with Schenker Storen AG for such a long time, we know the company's primary interests, where it stands, and which currencies we must focus on. This is exactly where we can take action, and advise the company about opportunities when the markets are favorable.
What is your general approach when it comes to advising on foreign exchange transactions?
Jürg Mesmer: I feel it's important to check in with my clients regularly about what the company wants to achieve in the area of currency management. I must know my clients and must understand their needs. I must be aware of the risk the company is willing to bear, and more importantly what risk it can bear.
By sharing open, specific information, I can advise my clients with a full range of expertise, such as on forward exchange transactions, or I can show them other ways to help the company achieve its goals.
So what is your personal goal when it comes to client advice?
Rolf Hofstetter: My goal has always been to build a long-term relationship with my clients. I think there are three keys to successful client advice: Long-term stability, personality, and trust.
Jürg Mesmer: We feel it's important to advise clients with recommendations that serve them for years to come.
Rolf Hofstetter: That is absolutely essential. As they say, "The customer is king." That's how we see it too. We provide a service, and we want to fulfill our clients' needs the best way we can.