By Katharina Bart
ZURICH Jan 22 Former Deutsche Bank
risk chief Hugo Baenziger is to join Lombard Odier as a managing
partner, tasked with helping the family-owned Geneva-based
private bank expand outside Switzerland.
The move represents a rare outside appointment at partner
level for the private bank with $225 billion in client assets
that traces its roots back to the late 18th century and is run
in part by seventh-generation descendents of its founding
Baenziger, in turn, is more at home with investment banking
and sophisticated financial risk models, after spending 16 years
at Deutsche Bank, a prominent fixed-income player. He left the
German lender 2012 as part of a management reshuffle.
Since then, he has devoted his time to lecturing, a board
position at derivatives bourse Eurex and a European Union
advisory group on bank safety rules.
Like many Swiss private banks, Lombard Odier is pushing out
of its home market against the backdrop of pressure on banking
secrecy, which is shrinking profits from private banking in
"As we continue to grow our private client, institutional
and banking infrastructure businesses, Hugo's breadth of
expertise, especially in finance and risk management, will be a
significant advantage in our international expansion," said
Patrick Odier, Lombard Odier's senior managing partner.
Lombard Odier, formed in 2002 when two centuries-old firms
joined forces, is the largest Swiss private bank to say it would
work with U.S. officials in a crackdown on lenders suspected of
helping wealthy Americans evade taxes through hidden offshore
Scores of smaller rivals have also come forward and roughly
a dozen Swiss private banks including Credit Suisse,
Julius Baer and Geneva rival Pictet & Cie are being
formally investigated by prosecutors.
Until last year, Lombard Odier was one of a handful of
exclusive Swiss banks including Wegelin & Cie, Switzerland's
oldest bank, to be wholly owned by their managing partners, who
bore direct financial responsibility for the business.
Last February, Lombard as well as Geneva rival Pictet
reorganised their respective businesses to limit partners'
liability and increase transparency, both citing the need to
adapt their structure to help them to develop.
Wegelin shut just over a year ago after a guilty plea in the
United States to charges of helping wealthy Americans evade
taxes through secret accounts.
($1 = 0.9113 Swiss francs)
(Editing by David Holmes)