Geneva’s Biggest Bank Appoints Nicolas Pictet as Senior Partner

  • Nicolas Pictet to succeed Jacques de Saussure on July 1
  • Pictet manages $454 billion from offices in 17 countries

Pictet & Cie. Group SCA, Geneva’s biggest bank, appointed Nicolas Pictet to replace Jacques de Saussure as senior partner starting July 1, in line with the company’s centuries-old succession rules.

De Saussure, 64, is retiring and his departure doesn’t mark a change in strategy for the private bank and asset manager, a company official said by e-mail, confirming an earlier report in Le Temps newspaper. Nicolas Pictet has been a managing partner at the firm since 1991.

“The senior partner retires when he reaches the retirement age and the second-oldest partner would then take over, as has been the rule at Pictet since 1805,” the official said, adding that the succession provides “continuity and stability.”

Pictet oversaw 437 billion Swiss francs ($454 billion) for clients from offices in 17 countries at the end of December, according to a company report. The firm is owned by its partners, who changed its corporate legal structure at the start of 2014 so they no longer have unlimited liability for losses.

Pictet is waiting to resolve a U.S. Department of Justice criminal probe over its alleged role helping Americans hide money from the Internal Revenue Service in offshore accounts. More than 80 Swiss banks have struck settlements with the Justice Department since 2009, paying more than $5.5 billion in penalties.

The firm, whose clients helped finance the development of North American railroads in the 19th century, manages about one third of client assets for institutional customers such as pension funds and also earns revenue from custody and other services provided to independent asset managers.

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