ZURICH, Jan 31 (Reuters) - VP Bank has named Alfred Moeckli as chief executive from May, the third head of the struggling Liechtenstein-based private bank in four years.
The 52-year-old Swiss Moeckli, who currently runs Zweiplus - a transaction bank which carries out and settles trades for Swiss asset managers, will succeed Roger Hartmann who stepped down in July for personal reasons.
Finance chief Siegbert Naescher and operating head Juerg Stuerzenegger had assumed the CEO responsibilities temporarily.
Banking has helped make the 36,000 inhabitants of the 160 square-kilometre principality, wedged in the Alps between Austria and Switzerland, among the world’s wealthiest - with national output per head seen at $141,000 in 2012.
Liechtenstein was quicker than Switzerland to succumb to international pressure on banking secrecy laws or, as private bankers colloquially refer to it, to “lift the kimono”. However, its banks, including VP, continue to grapple with the resulting shortfall of clients and fresh money.
Last August, VP Bank said it shed 38 million Swiss francs ($42 million) client assets in the first half.
Liechtenstein was removed from a global ‘black list’ of uncooperative tax havens in 2009 after agreeing to hunt foreign tax dodgers - data leaked in 2008 revealed hundreds of wealthy Germans had hidden assets in its banks.
More recently, the country has sought to position itself as a haven of political and economic stability amid the turmoil of the euro zone debt crisis. [ID: nL5E8GM7JG] ($1 = 0.9123 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Katharina Bart; Editing by Dan Lalor)