Swiss Banking Family Tightens Control of Vontobel

Maja Baumann (left) and Björn Wettergren

Maja Baumann (left) and Björn Wettergren

In the course of the succession to the estate of Hans Vontobel, who died on 3 January 2016, the Vontobel and de la Cour families have further professionalized the management of their participations in Vontobel Holding.

On 21 November 2016, all the necessary agreements were signed to restructure Vontobel’s shareholder base. The restructuring will be completed once all regulatory approvals have been obtained, as the bank said on Tuesday.

As part of the restructuring, a follow-up shareholder pool will be created, consisting of a core shareholder pool and an extended shareholder pool that will combine a total of 50.7 percent of votes. 43.9 percent of votes are tied in the core pool, for which the earliest possible date of termination is the end of 2026.

The earliest possible date of termination for the old shareholder pooling agreement would have been the end of 2018.

New Holding

The extended pool was concluded for an indefinite period of time and grants the other shareholders in the pool a right of pre-emption in the event that any member of the pool may want to sell its shareholding.

In addition to the Vontobel Foundation and Pellegrinus Holding, which hold a total of 19.6 percent of Vontobel shares, and the family holding company Vontrust, which accounts for 14. 3 percent of shares, 10 percent of Vontobel shares will now be held by the new holding company Advontes.

Transferred to the Vontobel Foundation

It mainly comprises the shares of Hans Vontobel, which were transferred to the new holding company. In the course of the succession to the estate of Hans Vontobel, further shares were transferred to the Vontobel Foundation.

The new shareholder pooling agreements will also result in a clearer shareholder structure. When calculating the thresholds pursuant to stock exchange law in the past, the shares that were tied according to the old pooling agreement and the free shares of shareholders in the pool, including the shares of Vontobel Holding and the management, were added together. In total, this corresponded to around 62 percent of votes.

Stronger Than Before

«The aim of the restructuring is to ensure that the shares are bundled even more strongly than before in professionally managed companies and, at the same time, to create clarity and stability for Vontobel through agreements between its shareholders. The family remains firmly committed to the company and to their role as anchor shareholders now and in the future,» said Maja Baumann, a member of the Board of Directors of Vontobel Holding and granddaughter of Hans Vontobel.

«With the decisions that have just been taken, the family is underscoring its desire to continue giving the company and its employees the stability needed to ensure entrepreneurial freedom in the future,» stated Björn Wettergren, a member of the Board of Directors of Vontobel Holding and a member of the de la Cour family.

 

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