Annual Report 2023 – Letter of the Chairman of the Board of Directors

Dear clients, partners, and colleagues: Every year — and indeed, every day, week, and month — offers us a chance to review and assess our approach to wealth management:

Are we delivering good results? Is client trust and satisfaction rising? Is the volume of assets under our management growing, thus serving as a tangible proof of our client’s trust?

In a way, the answers to these questions validate our approach, one that views asset management as a lifelong commitment.

It’s a key perspective that, in reality, shapes every aspect of our work — e.g. how we make decisions, what we focus on, what we say „yes“ and „no“ to, and where we invest our time, attention, and effort.

Before I say anything else, I must begin with a note of gratitude. I am grateful for your loyalty and trust, and for the opportunity to demonstrate what it means to be committed to caring for your assets for a lifetime. Your trust is crucial to us, and we greatly appreciate it. The best way we can express our gratitude is through our results, our care, and our commitment to constantly improve.

We will continue striving to be the relevant choice for investors, especially those seeking lifelong commitment. That is, those who trust us with their investments to the extent that they don’t feel the need to sell their portfolios and instead prefer investing in securities over unregulated instruments.

So allow me to summarise 2023 and highlight the key events that occurred throughout the year.

Market stabilisation and results for the year 2023

Following the challenges of 2022, widely regarded as one of the toughest years in financial markets, 2023 witnessed a notable rebound, much to the satisfaction of investors across the board.

During this year, the spotlight was primarily on the work of the major central banks, whose actions shaped the dynamics of financial markets, particularly through interventions in interest rate policies. There was also much discussion about whether we can expect a „hard landing“ or „soft landing“ — in other words, whether the economy is facing a stronger or weaker recession.

Given the swift efforts of central banks to rein in inflation and stabilise it within the desired range of 2 — 3%, the current outlook appears promising. Other indicators contributing to an optimistic mood include the unemployment rate and consumer spending (i.e. household consumption).

Since financial markets typically react in advance, the response was evident as early as the last quarter of 2023, when markets had already partially factored in the rhetoric of central banks and their announced potential reduction of key interest rates in 2024. While the timing of this step remains unclear, our assumption is that it will not occur before the summer of 2024.

Our market exposure

Considering our approach and perspective, our market exposure remains broadly diversified. Throughout 2023, our portfolios consisted of a total of 175 securities, including 63 stocks and 97 ETFs. Additionally, in 2023, we created and purchased 15 structured products and investment certificates.

Impact on the economy

While our primary focus lies within financial markets at WEM, we maintain a keen interest in the broader economic landscape, notably in private equity and real estate sectors.

The private equity sector, in particular, faced unprecedented challenges, witnessing a significant downturn in capital inflows over the past decade. Similarly, the real estate market experienced a cautious sentiment among buyers and investors, adopting a wait-and-see approach amid uncertainties. Following years of upward price trends, affordability became a pressing issue for most potential buyers due to elevated interest rates. These high interest rates are, moreover, expected to continue throughout 2024. This will favour investors with „cash-on-hand“ liquidity, enabling them to acquire assets below market value.

Nonetheless, this scenario also presents compelling opportunities that we are committed to leverage within our solutions to benefit our clients.

Foreign expansion

Expanding into foreign markets not only reflects our long-term strategy but also serves as a natural progression of our efforts, representing the culmination of our endeavours.

Our initial foray into international expansion occurred in the Bulgarian market back in 2015. However, our current focus is predominantly directed towards western markets, where we perceive greater potential for growth. With the continual enhancement of the quality and scope of our services, we are confident in our ability to establish a strong presence in these markets and deliver value to all stakeholders involved. Among our international ventures is Monaco, where we have successfully forged partnerships with esteemed banks and collaborators, allowing us to extend our investment solutions and services to foreign clientele, including Slovaks living abroad. Looking ahead, our sights are set on expanding our operations to Prague and London.

Development of wealth management services

I firmly believe that the key to lifelong client satisfaction lies in our unwavering commitment to continuous progress across all fronts. Thus, a significant portion of our efforts in 2023 was dedicated to advancing our wealth management services.

Our focus was notably on family succession and family office services, with a primary emphasis on establishing proper legal structures. This approach ensures asset protection and facilitates their seamless transfer.

Additionally, in terms of family wealth management, we observed a growing demand for guidance on transitioning family businesses to the next generation or considering potential sales, which necessitates thorough company evaluations. In response to this demand, we introduced the WEM Private Fund subclass tailored to the „Succession“ theme. In practice, this will entail creating an integrated ecosystem where our clients can access all the necessary services and tools under one roof. Assisting clients in preserving and transferring their wealth to future generations epitomises our commitment to lifelong support in its truest sense.


The IT sector stands as one of our pivotal areas, exerting an immeasurable influence on our entire operation. A notable achievement in 2023 was our attainment of complete autonomy from external suppliers for software development.

By the beginning of 2023, we had fully migrated to our own systems, which we continue to develop further. Our autonomy and complete oversight of development and direction empower us to deliver optimal service to our clients — whilst also guaranteeing the requisite flexibility and capacity to address any internal or partner-related demands.

Development of B2B

As a natural progression of our autonomy in the IT domain, we’ve managed to foster collaborations within the B2B segment. Throughout 2023, we established several such partnerships, predominantly those requiring tailormade IT solutions and an individualistic approach.

Another noteworthy development in the B2B realm is the inception of our Flip platform — an integrated solution catering to financial firms, intermediaries, and investment experts. Flip serves as a comprehensive tool for client management and securities trading, including offering access to our WEM portfolios renowned for their exceptional performance history.

Our goals

Our goals and areas of focus for the year 2024 can be summed up in 5 points:

  1. Stable and exceptional results
  2. Responsible conduct and fiduciary responsibilities
  3. Thorough risk assessments
  4. Further realisation of our vision
  5. Continuous improvement

Goal 1: Stable and exceptional results

Our primary objective remains steadfast: to consistently deliver stable and exceptional results to our clients. We openly aspire to exceed market performance in selected equity portfolios — an ambition we have consistently realised over the long term. In 2023, our WEM Equity US portfolio notably outperformed the S&P 500 index by 9.14%. Since 2017, this impressive figure has reached 50.52%.

At the same time, we place increasing emphasis on assisting investors in safeguarding themselves from making poor investment decisions — occasionally, our guidance can safeguard 100% of their investment. In situations where a single misstep could jeopardise everything for our clients, this assistance becomes even more crucial.

Goal 2: Responsible conduct and fiduciary responsibilities

The second goal and primary area of focus is maintaining steadfast responsibility towards our work, results, and clients, and adhering to fiduciary duties. This responsibility is significant, yet it’s bolstered by our core attitude: a genuine passion for our work.

This passion not only drives our resolute handling of trust but also fuels our pursuit of continuous improvement, approaching every task with appropriate self-reflection and an eagerness to enhance our practices.

Even after more than 16 years, my personal dedication remains unwavering, if not stronger than ever before. And this unwavering dedication underscores my fundamental attitude and commitment, upon which our investors can wholeheartedly rely.

Goal 3: Thorough risk assessments

Accurate risk assessment is crucial not only in the context of investing in diverse assets but also especially in the effective management of our business.

As such, the majority of our decisions are not made unilaterally but rather involve input from multiple stakeholders. Key investment decisions are therefore made collectively, and although some managerial decisions are made by an individual authority, the input and perspectives of others are still taken into account.

Goal 4: Further realisation of our vision

The penultimate and considerably more intricate objective of ours entails advancing and materialising our vision. This vision gradually manifests into distinct steps, projects, services, and products, forming an interconnected ecosystem akin to a living organism.

Just as our self-sufficiency in the IT realm catalysed the inception of the B2B platform Flip, various other concepts and initiatives are steadily evolving. These endeavours complement one another, weaving together seamlessly with both existing implementations and those still in progress.

Goal 5: Continuous improvement

The conclusion naturally leads us to where we aim to be at the end of 2024. Our objective is straightforward, though certainly challenging: To be better than we were last year. In everything.

This encompasses not only the volume of assets under management and client base growth, but also portfolio performance, service quality, and knowledge advancement.

This is us. This is the essence of WEM. We firmly believe that through diligent effort, incremental progress, and year-by-year dedication, we will realise our vision and goals. Ultimately, what matters at the end of the day is a satisfied investor.

And that’s you.


Peter Štadler
CEO & Chairman of the Board

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