Both the CEO and COO have been at the helm for many years and have made major contributions to the success of Vontobel, which operates in a number of regions.
Zeno Staub has announced that he will step down as CEO of Vontobel at the General Meeting of Shareholders in 2024 and Felix Lenhard will step down from his operational role as chief operating officer at the end of 2023.
After 22 years at Zurich-based Vontobel, including 20 years as a member of the executive committee and 12 years as CEO, Zeno Staub has informed the board of directors that he wishes to step down from his role at the next General Meeting of Shareholders on 9 April 2024. He wants to become more involved in the politics of Swiss civil society in order “to give something back to the country and the people of Switzerland in recognition of what they have enabled me to achieve.”
“It has been a great privilege and a pleasure to work for Vontobel. In today’s changing world, Vontobel remains very well positioned as a globally active, client-centric investment firm. I remain fully committed to working with my colleagues in the executive committee in the months ahead as we move forward with the implementation of our long-term ambition and our 2024 mid-term targets.” Staub said.
Staub’s successor as CEO is to be determined by the end of 2023 by means of a professional appointment process that will consider both internal and external candidates.
Staub will retain his ties to Vontobel. At the suggestion of the board of directors, he will stand for election as an ordinary member of the board of directors at the General Meeting of Shareholders in 2025, after a one-year cooling-off period. Staub has served as a member of the board of directors of Bühler Group since October 2022, the firm said in a statement.
Thanking Staub for his contribution to the firm, Andreas Utermann, chairman of the board of directors of Vontobel, said: “Under Zeno Staub’s leadership, Vontobel has successfully developed into a leading, focused Swiss investment firm that is at its clients’ side, offering them its global investment expertise...On behalf of the board of directors, I would like to thank Zeno Staub for his great dedication to Vontobel and I look forward to continuing to work closely with him in the coming months.”
Under Staub’s tenure Vontobel was able to deliver stable results – against a difficult economic background – for the first quarter of 2023; the firm established itself as the largest Swiss-domiciled wealth manager for North American clients seeking international diversification for their assets; and bolstered its offering by acquiring TwentyFour Asset Management, among other achievements.
The firm, as reported last November, is reorganising its business in Asia, merging advisory investment solutions (structured solutions and treasury AIS) and wealth management in Asia to become the new structured solutions financial institutions unit.
Chief operating officer
Felix Lenhard, chief operating officer and a member of the executive committee of Vontobel Holding AG and of Bank Vontobel AG, has informed the board of directors that he also wishes to step down from his operational role as COO, but at the end of 2023. To ensure an orderly transition, Lenhard will retain his ties to the company beyond that date. Similarly, his successor as COO will be determined by the end of 2023 by means of a professional appointment process that will consider both internal and external candidates, the firm said.
Lenhard has spent more than 22 years working for Vontobel, including 13 years as COO and as a member of the executive committee. Under his leadership, Vontobel systematically drove forward its digital transformation, investing in growth opportunities at an early stage.
Thanking Lenhard for his contribution to the firm, Utermann said: “After many successful years at Vontobel, we respect Felix Lenhard’s wish to devote more time to his family in the future. On behalf of the board of directors, I wish to already take this opportunity to thank him for everything he has achieved at Vontobel. Felix Lenhard and his team have made a major contribution to Vontobel’s success in recent years."