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Pictet to place management of operating companies under corporate partnership

The Pictet Group intends to organise itself into a “société en commandite par actions de droit Suisse” – a partnership limited by shares under Swiss law, or a corporate partnership – from 1 January 2014.

The new structure will bring together the management of all the operating companies of the Pictet Group and preserve the ownership and management of the group by the current managing partners.

The group’s Swiss bank, Pictet & Cie, the only operating entity that has the legal form of a general partnership, will become a limited company, alongside all the other operating entities of the group.
Over the past 20 years the Pictet Group has experienced an internationalisation and, in addition to its traditional private banking business, a major diversification of its activities, notably with the growth of institutional asset management, mutual fund distribution and asset services.
After considering on several occasions since the mid-2000s how to optimise governance and introduce a more consistent structure to the Pictet Group, the partners have finally decided to consolidate the management of all these entities under a single legal structure known as a société en commandite par actions de droit suisse (SCA), or a corporate partnership, headquartered in Geneva.
This legal form has the advantage of reproducing the strengths of a general partnership at the group level. Under the SCA the partners will, as before, remain both owners and managers of the Pictet Group.

The group’s equity levels and the quality of its balance sheet will also remain unchanged. It does not affect the group’s collegial and entrepreneurial management culture, nor is the personal commitment of the partners in the strategic management of the group affected in any way. Finally, this change has no implications for the continuity of the bank’s teams and management, or for the organisation of its business units.

As for Pictet & Cie, the Swiss bank of the group and currently the only operating entity that has the legal form of a general partnership, it will become a limited company alongside all the other banks of the group (Luxembourg, Nassau and Singapore). All operational entities of the group will therefore have the same legal form. The group’s structure will also gain in consistency as well as clarity and transparency, especially for clients, with the publication of a consolidated annual report and the introduction of an independent supervisory board as required for an SCA.

The ownership and management of the SCA will be under the eight current partners, while the Swiss bank will have its own executive committee, headed by one of the partners.
“This evolution of our structure will make it easier for our group to grow and adapt in an increasingly complex international environment,” says Jacques de Saussure, senior partner of the Pictet Group. “At the same time it will ensure that we keep the traditional strengths of Pictet’s business model, such as independence, the manner in which the business is managed and passed on, and the long-term vision in the interests of our clients and the bank, while the Pictet Group will continue to hold capital well in excess of Swiss legal requirements, which are amongst the most stringent in the world.”
Subject to the approval of the relevant supervisory authorities, the Pictet Group intends to put the new structure in place on 1 January 2014.

from Institutional Asset Manager

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