Ten Bankers to Watch in 2016

Ten Bankers to Watch in 2016

Transformation, catharsis and test of character – keywords that will be used in connection with the following representatives of the financial industry in 2016. And yes, with twins, too.

Stefano coduri 500

Stefano Coduri – one doesn't envy him his job as chief executive at BSI. The sale of his bank first took ages to be completed until Generali finally found a willing taker in BTG-Pactual of Brazil. Then it faced the negotiations with the U.S. tax authorities, which ended with a payment of $211 million.

And when it all looked set for a new beginning, BTG Chief Executive André Esteves got embroiled in a corruption scandal. To generate cash, BTG is supposed to get rid of BSI again – back to square one for Coduri. We are keen to see what challenges the manager will face this year, and he probably is equally interested to see what fate has in it for him.

thiam 500

Tidjane Thiam – the new strategy has been defined and communicated, but really convincing it wasn't so far. The question is whether the successor of Brady Dougan as boss of Switzerland's No. 2 bank will steer the company back to success.

Thus, 2016 will be the year of probation for Thiam. Should the bank fail, he may be gone as quickly as he came – and he's after all not the type of manager to stick around waiting for better times.

Scholl Martin 500

Martin Scholl – Zuercher Kantonalbank (ZKB) has been battling with a the same problem for years, and it has developed into a true burden for the state bank of the region of Zurich: the impending solution of the tax dispute with the U.S. and the expected fine. People didn't really expect a state institute of ZKB's standing to get embroiled in a scandal involving tax avoidance, which landed the bank in the so-called category I.

Should ZKB receive a fine of the magnitude that all institutes in this category have to expect, the question of taking responsibility will inevitably be raised by the general public and politicians. How will Scholl react to calls for his resignation?

Patrick Odier 500

Patrick Odier – The private banker from Geneva has been president of the bankers association since 2009. The financial market has undergone fundamental change since then and the situation of a large number of institutes has changed. Banking secrecy, the be all and end all of Switzerland's banking for years, is but a shadow of its former glorious incarnation. Odier has done what he possibly could. But what now?

Is it time to hand over to a younger colleague at the Bankers Day in the autumn? It would have to be to a younger person who might be able to give new impetus to the asset-management initiative, which has failed to take off so far.

Christian Katz 500

Christian Katz – the former banker at Goldman Sachs retired from his job as head of the Swiss stock exchange in spring. He subsequently refused to get involved in a public tit-for-tat about the reasons for his unexpected departure.

But Katz is young and innovative and won't be happy to only sit on a few boards of directors. We would be surprised if he didn't appear in a new role this year.

Robot 501

Mrs. oder Mr. Fintech – technological progress has helped the Swiss financial market to breath some welcome fresh air in the past year. Pitches, hackathons and presentations of all sorts helped startups to present themselves. They showed that Switzerland has a lot on offer that will help the financial industry to remain at the forefront.

That was the verdict of finews.ch editor Peter Hody in an interview recently. All eyes are on a fledgling industry.

Boris Collardi 509

Boris Collardi – Equally in the public eye is Bank Baer boss Collardi, not least because he notoriously predicts a solution to the tax dispute with the U.S. by the end of the year (which year?). The man from the French-speaking part of Switzerland is always good for a surprise.

2016 is likely to be no different. How much will Julius Baer have to hand over to the U.S.? Collardi has already put more than half a billion aside. Will it suffice?

Mario Greco 502

Mario Greco – Zurich Insurance is looking for a new boss after Martin Senn's departure at the end of 2015. Generali-CEO Mario Greco has been mentioned as a possible successor. A sign of Zurich's intentions was Generali's offer to increase Greco's salary.

Greco took 3,25 million euros in 2014, not even half the 8.4 million francs that Zurich paid its former chief executive. The citizen of Italy is not least a serious candidate for the post because he was in charge of one of Zurich's main units until 2012.

Patrik Gisel 502

Patrik Gisel – he may well have the toughest job in Swiss banking this year. The successor of Pierin Vincenz as head of Raiffeisen has a number of challenges to meet. How will the cooperative bank manage the necessary technological evolution? What will happen to Notenstein private bank? And what about the dissolution of the cooperation with Vontobel envisaged by mid-2017?

How will Raiffeisen perform in a low-rate environment and what role will it award its engagement in Avaloq, the software developer? Gisel is facing his year of probation.

philipp hildebrand 502

Philipp Hildebrand – An elite swimmer, hedge-fund manager, central banker, currency insider, comeback man, networker of Larry Fink fame – separation, new love, and now that: bang in the middle of the quiet Christmas and New Year days he drops the news: 52-year old Hildebrand will become father of twins in April.

The mother is 53-year old Margarita Louis-Dreyfus. The Russian citizen has been together with the Swiss banker for three years. We are not only eagerly awaiting people news, but also what his professional plans look like.


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