ZURICH Nov 7 Swiss asset manager and investment
bank Vontobel is taking large institutional shareholder
Raiffeisen Switzerland to arbitration over claims the retail
bank is not meeting the terms of a long-standing cooperation
Vontobel said on Wednesday the banks had failed to come to
an agreement over whether Notenstein Privatbank, which
Raiffeisen bought in January, could provide certain services
directly to Raiffeisen.
"Though Raiffeisen has bought Notenstein, certain services
such as investment expertise still have to be outsourced to
Vontobel," said Vontobel spokesman Reto Giudicetti. "If
Raiffeisen uses Notenstein's internal investment expertise, that
breaches our contract with Raiffeisen."
However, he said, the parties had failed to agree on whether
Notenstein could provide investment expertise and other services
directly to Raiffeisen or not. He said the parties would now
seek an independent arbiter to rule on the dispute.
The strategic cooperation between Vontobel and Raiffeisen
dates back to 2004 and was underpinned by Raiffeisen's
acquisition of a 12.5 percent stake in Vontobel. The agreement
is valid until 2017.
Raiffeisen bought Notenstein Privatbank in January after
Wegelin, Switzerland's oldest bank, carved itself up under the
pressure of a long-running U.S. tax probe, setting up Notenstein
to hold 21 billion Swiss francs ($22.2 billion) of assets
unaffected by the probe.
The problem U.S. assets remain with Wegelin.
($1 = 0.9456 Swiss francs)
(Reporting by Martin de Sa'Pinto; Editing by David Holmes)