Speaking to the Swiss financial newspaper Finanz and Wirtschaft, Urs Widmer, chairman of Vontobel Holding, said the Swiss bank plans to stay independent but may consider joint ventures and partnerships in some segments in order to avoid a full merger. "Fortunately we are today in a position of strength in all areas," Mr Widmer said. "We are looking for profitable growth both organically as well as joint operations and partnerships. At the same time we are assessing acquisition opportunities," he told the newspaper. Vontobel shares gained 2.6 per cent last Friday amid speculation that the country’s two largest banks, UBS and Credit Suisse, both with strong private banking operations, might consider expanding their asset management operations with an arrangement with Bank Vontobel.
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