Odier Without Lombard – Tale of Two Families

Lombard Odier Headquarters

Lombard Odier Headquarters

Lombard Odier, the Geneva-based private bank, has dropped Lombard from its name – at least in strictly legal terms, research by finews.asia showed. But has the Lombard family as such given up on the bank?

The private bank founded in 1796 was called Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch or LODH until a few years ago, when two partners dropped out. Since then, the bank has been known as Lombard Odier.

The brand currently used may not stand for much longer though, research by finews.asia suggests. The holding firm used as an umbrella for the activities of the bank is known since the beginning of 2015 as Holding Privé Odier & Cie only.

The brand «Lombard Odier» is in no way linked with the legal structure of the company, a spokesman for the bank told finews.asia on Tuesday. A change of brand was absolutely not on the agenda, he added.

thierry lombard 502

Departure of Alexis Lombard

This change of name is due to the departure in 2014 of Thierry Lombard (pictured above), a long-time partner at the bank, a spokesman told finews.asia. Partners reaching their age of retirement are replaced by a successor from their family, according to unwritten rules of the firm. It would have been possible in the case of the Lombard family, because Thierry Lombard's son Alexis Lombard was already working at the institute at the time of his father's retirement.

But the partners seem to have opted against a nomination of Alexis Lombard.

Bank Denies Dispute

The bank vehemently denies that there's a dispute between the Lombard and the Odier families even if sources within the financial services industry frequently suggested as much. But the announcement by Thierry Lombard shortly before Christmas 2015 that he will take a stake in Lausanne-based private bank Landolt came as a surprise. After all, prominent partners of private banks don't often buy stakes in rival institutes.

Alexis Lombard and Frédéric Binder, cousin of Alexis and banker at Lombard Odier, have also joined Landolt. But Lombard Odier, or more specifically Patrick Odier (pictured below), maintain that there was no bad blood involved when the Lombard representatives departed.

Asset Management Quo Vadis?

Lombard Odier is similarly adamant that its asset management business won't be sold. But the word in the industry has it that the unit is up for sale.

Patrick Odier 502 kopie

It seems plausible that Patrick Odier will devote more time to his bank in coming years. His tenure as president of the Swiss Bankers Association is up for renewal in 2016 and it is questionable whether he will be available for reelection, «Sonntagszeitung» (pay-wall) reported on Sunday.

The breeze for which the Lake of Geneva is famous seems to have taken a firm hold over the city's private-banking industry.



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