New Office

Vontobel Boosts Italian Presence With New Office, Five New Hires

Wendy Spires, Group Deputy Editor, London, 14 October 2010

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Vontobel, the Swiss private banking and asset management group, yesterday launched its new Milan office, for which it has hired three private bankers and two managers, Reuters reports.

The three private bankers are Verduci and Gianluca Landi, who join from Banca Passatore, and Alessandro degli Alessandri. The former two appointees will focus on building relations with the region’s private clients, while Alessandri will focus on raising awareness of the Vontobel brand among central Italy’s high net worth individuals, local media reports said.

The two new managers in Milan are Ivo Petracca, who joins from BNP Paribas, and Andrea Indaimo, latterly a portfolio manager at UBS.

Vontobel’s expansion in Italy comes at an opportune time as various factors are driving a widespread repatriation of private banking assets out of neighbouring Switzerland back to Italy.

The Italian government’s latest tax amnesty, which ended in April, is reported to have prompted the return of some €39 billion (around $55 billion) in assets to the country. The Italian authorities’ crackdown on tax evasion has also put Italian banks in Switzerland under increasing pressure, with the canton of Ticino having been particularly hard hit by tight scrutiny of bank secrecy and weak returns after the financial crisis. In the past 18 months, around eight firms in the Italian-speaking canton have reportedly closed or been sold, half of them being Italian-owned.

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