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Banque SYZ Boosts Swiss Private Banking Team

Jackie Bennion

2 October 2019

, the eponymous Swiss private bank launched by Eric Syz more than two decades ago, has hired Mehdi Lakhdar and Andrea Bodini-Nocent to serve local clients from Geneva and Lugano, respectively. The appointments are in line with plans to expand activities in Switzerland and focus more on entrepreneurial clients, the bank said.

Lakhdar, who will be based in Geneva, and has had a number of client-facing roles at Swiss and international institutions, including UBS, Barclays and most recently at Banque Cantonale de Genève.

Bodini-Nocent will be based in Lugano and has been in corporate advisory posts, covering merger and acquisitions transactions for mid-cap companies. Most recently, he worked in the private banking division for international markets at EFG in Luxembourg.

Lakhdar and Bodini-Nocent will report to Lorenzo Romano, head of Switzerland and Europe, based in Geneva. “While SYZ has expanded internationally over the last two decades, we remain first and foremost committed to the Swiss market, our home market, where we will continue our strategic recruitment,” Romano said.

He added that the appointments were in keeping with a desire to ensure a diversity of bankers in the group and connect with a broader array of local entrepreneurs.

“Clients need dynamic advisors who are able to understand and resolve complex situations, both demonstrate intellectual flexibility and are fully equipped to serve their existing clients and a new generation of clients and entrepreneurs,” he said.

This publication reported earlier this year on the decision by Eric Syz to step down from operational control of the investment house and focus on the role of Group CEO in setting a vision and developing out a client base. Other family members have senior roles at the bank, including his son Nicolas Syz, who moved from business development to become head of private banking in February as part of succession planning at the independent, family-owned business.

In April the group added two hires to serve private banking clients in Switzerland’s main wealth management hub covering the Zurich, Zug and Lucerne regions.

Each business unit of the SYZ Group has its own CEO and a specific type of client. Banque SYZ serves private banking clients; SYZ Asset Management serves institutional investors; and the group's most recent addition, SYZ Capital, serves clients seeking privileged access to private investments. According to the last financial statement released by the bank, group profits were down by roughly a half in 2018 from the previous year.