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Vontobel Reshuffles Senior Ranks

Tom Burroughes

3 December 2020

Swiss wealth management house has reshuffled its senior leadership, it announced yesterday. 

Axel Schwarzer will step down from his operational role on 1 January next year after 10 years in that role. He will retain his ties to Vontobel as chairman of TwentyFour Asset Management, a subsidiary of Vontobel, the firm said in a statement.

Investment functions will report directly to chief executive Zeno Staub in future. Marko Röder, longstanding head of global sales in asset management since July 2011, will take over running the asset management client unit.

The executive committee of Vontobel will comprise the following members with effect from 1 January 2021: Zeno Staub (CEO), Thomas Heinzl (CFO), Felix Lenhard (COO) and Enrico Friz (General Counsel). Georg Schubiger and Axel Schwarzer will step down from the governing body at the end of 2020.

Separately, from 1 January, the members of the executive committee of Bank Vontobel AG – a different legal entity – will be: Zeno Staub (CEO), Georg Schubiger (head Wealth Management), Markus Pfister (head Structured Solutions and Treasury), Thomas Heinzl (CFO), Felix Lenhard (COO) and Enrico Friz (general counsel).

“The changes in the operating environment as well as the performance of the business to date, confirm that Vontobel’s strategic decision in December 2019 to position itself as a globally active pure-play investment firm was the right course of action,” the business said.

The investment boutiques with the boutique heads Matthew Benkendorf, Mark Holman, Simon Lue-Fong, Daniel Seiler, Hans Speich and Dan Scott, will report to Staub from the start of 2021. 

The boutique heads will also be directly represented in all the relevant client and performance boards.

Vontobel said that its asset management arm has become one of its main and most reliable growth engines. It said that net new money growth has “significantly” beaten its target range of between 4 to 6 per cent. 

In the first nine months of 2020, asset management recorded a net inflow of new money of SFr9.3 billion ($10.3 billion), rising by 10 per cent on an annualised basis. Advised client assets have more than trebled from SFr43 billion to SFr142 billion over the last ten years.