Marc Pictet Sees Further Expansion in 2016

Marc Pictet

Marc Pictet

Pictet, the private bank based in Geneva, plans to expand its business further in 2016 even as uncertainties surrounding the tax dispute with the U.S. and the strength of the franc remain.

Marc Pictet, one of seven owner managers of Pictet, expects the bank to hire about 150 employees in 2016, adding to the 200 last year, he said in an interview with Switzerland's «Basler Zeitung» (by subscription only). The private bank, one of Switzerland's biggest, has about 4,000 people under contract.

The bank is expanding even after the sudden appreciation of the Swiss franc in January 2015, which within seconds swept 15 percent of Pictet's assets away. The institute has been able to compensate for the depreciation of its assets in part by acquiring new money. Today it manages about 420 billion francs.

Potential of U.S. Fine

A further uncertainty remaining in the new year is the potential of a fine by the U.S. authorities because of the tax evasion of U.S. citizens. Marc Pictet said his bank hadn't made provisions for such a fine.

To do so, the management would need to know the probable size of such a fine and the bank hadn't received any news from the U.S. authorities. «We are ready to negotiate and confident,» the banker told the newspaper.

Organic Growth

Pictet is a category I institute, along others such as Julius Baer and Zuercher Kantonalbank.

The private bank plans to stick to its policy of growing organically, applying a conservative approach to possible acquisitions. Needless to say, even Pictet is carefully evaluating banks that are being put up for sale.

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