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Faculty Spotlight: “The Swiss Connection”

Alfred Mettler, Clinical Associate Professor

Ph.D., University of Zurich; MBA, University of Zurich

Alfred Mettler

When the government of Switzerland needed advice about opening access to data about investment accounts in its banks, it turned to Alfred Mettler. An expert in international banking and finance, Mettler served on a task force that explored how to respond to mounting pressure to allow other nations to access information about assets under management of Swiss banks — a demand at odds with entrenched bank privacy laws there.

The situation was serious. If Switzerland didn’t adapt its banking rules, it could land on a “blacklist” of uncooperative tax havens. As one of five external members of the task force, Mettler grappled with issues of tax law, bank privacy rules, and the blacklist threat. In the end, Switzerland agreed to accept the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development standards and has since then renegotiated the majority of its double taxation agreements, including the one with the United States.

A dual citizen of the U.S. and Switzerland, Mettler brings wide-ranging global experience to the Robinson College, where he joined the faculty in 1998. He coordinates the core finance course in the MBA program and teaches derivatives as well as the graduate elective course “Finance and Banking in the Global Economy.” In addition he serves on various college committees, among them the MBA Steering Committee and the Graduate Program Council.

Mettler has garnered several awards for teaching, including the Robinson College’s Crystal Apple Student Teaching Award, the Faculty Recognition Award for Teaching, and the Board of Advisors Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award. He has extensive experience in the design and delivery of executive education programs, both at the Robinson College and in Europe — serving on the faculty of the Swiss Finance Institute (where he is an adjunct professor) and the University of Fribourg, Switzerland.

Mettler’s principle interests are in selected areas of international finance and banking, risk management of financial institutions, and financial education. Also, he has consulted for a number of organizations including the Swiss government, the Swiss Finance Institute, UBS, the Vietnamese Banking Association, Morgan Stanley, Swiss Bank Corp., Nestlé, Lucent, and others.