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University of Basel

Innovative lawyer in the investment business.

Text: Bettina Volz-Tobler

Salome Preiswerk studied law in Basel and worked as a strategic consultant for banks after graduation. In 2014, she founded her own company, Whitebox, with the aim of revolutionizing private asset management using the latest IT technology tailored to meet customer needs. Within just a short time, Whitebox became one of Europe’s leading companies in this sector.

Alumna at work: Salome Preiswerk
Alumna at work: Salome Preiswerk

UNI NOVA: You studied law and now work in digital asset management. How did that happen?

SALOME PREISWERK: I don’t see it as a break, but more as an evolution – and I had a few other jobs in between. In fact, my legal “career” ended on the last day of my studies. I then moved straight into management consultancy. Law students don’t all have to end up as attorneys or judges; you find them in different areas of business. My subsequent move into digital financial services was really a transition, aided by my consultancy experience and my basic legal grounding.

UNI NOVA: You are considered a “digital pioneer” in specialist financial circles. What exactly does your service entail?

SALOME PREISWERK: My service offers high-quality asset management but in digital format. This means it’s no longer reserved for a small, elite group, but is open to anyone able to invest at least CHF 5,000. The service is committed to ambitious portfolio management, packaged in a simple and intuitive user experience, and underpinned by a fair and transparent business model – at a very reasonable price. And it shows that asset management can be fun.

UNI NOVA: What was it that gave you the push to become self-employed?

SALOME PREISWERK: To my parents’ alarm, I knew from a young age that I wanted to work for myself. Admittedly, my early “business models” were rather crude, but it was only a matter of time.

UNI NOVA: You studied at the University of Basel and have travelled the world. What would you say were the particular advantages of your degree course? How do you feel about Basel University today?

SALOME PREISWERK: I have to admit that today, as during my studies, I tend to view the university from the outside … I studied before the Bologna system was introduced and don’t regret it – regardless of general doubts at the time about the reforms. My studies gave me the opportunity to gain important professional experience, pursue my passion for sport, and enjoy my life too. I’m sure that Basel University is much more modern now. For example, I think it’s good that the university pays more attention to its public image and has an alumni organization.

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