Who is Switzerland's Hottest Banker?

Switzerland, hot bankers, attractive bankers

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Bankers love league tables. That's why finews.ch has compiled the ultimate ranking of attractive Swiss bankers, for the first time ever. Caution is advised.

Disclaimer: finews.ch doesn't consider it beneath ourselves to present the most attractive Swiss bankers – tongue firmly in cheek, of course. 

In Swiss banking, gray hair and wrinkles used to be part of the uniform, helping to relay the gravitas and experience needed to manage vast sums of money.

That’s no longer strictly the case, as a new crop of Swiss bankers are proving. In a new ranking, finews.ch took a – admittedly an entirely subjective – look around Paradeplatz in Zurich and Geneva’s riverside banking area for the most attractive Swiss bankers. Here is our ranking of the Swiss bankers who are easiest on the eye, in ascending order:

15. Vincent Duhamel, Lombard Odier

Vincent Duhamel 500

The Swiss bank’s head of Asia, Vincent Duhamel ran into trouble earlier this year when China suspended sales of some offshore products. Its parent bank isn’t having a great year either, as finews.ch has reported at length. Duhamel, an Asia veteran and former Goldman Sachs executive, joined Lombard Odier in 2011.

14. Marc Pictet, Pictet

Marc Pictet

A representative of the younger generation of the family which has governed Pictet for 211 years, Marc Pictet has been a managing partner of the bank since 2011. His presence as one of seven senior owner managers of the bank ensures that Pictet remains in family hands for the foreseeable future.

13. Lukas Risi, Maerki Baumann

Lukas S. Risi 500

The deputy CEO of Zurich private bank Maerki Baumann, Lukas Risi lists travel and sports as his interests. He worked as a lawyer for Julius Baer and Maerki Baumann before being promoted to head of private banking for his current firm earlier this year. He was also spotted at the Swiss banking wedding of the year: Risi served as best man when his boss, Stephan Zwahlen, married Jean Nadine Dakaj, a marketing executive at the bank.

12. Thomas Meier, Julius Baer

Thomas Meier 500

The Far East private banking veteran Thomas Meier effectively built Julius Baer's presence in Asia when the bank finally decided to go big ten years ago. Meier recently returned to Julius Baer's Zurich headquarters in a surprisingly low-profile role as non-executive vice-chairman and head of the bank's foundation temporarily. He has no intention of becoming a lunch-time ambassador, he later made clear. Swiss banking observers are keen to see what his next move is.

11. Björn Wettergren, Bank Vontobel

Wettergren Bjoern 500

Representing the fourth generation of Vontobel’s founding family, Björn Wettergren joined the bank’s board earlier this year. The the Swiss-Swedish dual citizen is more often found in Berlin where he is a partner in Etventure, a digital specialist which supports startups. He has also worked at Vontobel including as a portfolio manager, but joined the board this year as a representative of the family’s trust.

10. Flavio Romerio, Homburger

Flavio Romerio 500

Swiss lawyer Flavio Romerio became a go-to man for Swiss banks during a massive crackdown by U.S. justice officials. A partner with prestigious Zurich law firm Homburger specialized in white-collar crime, he represents Zurich Cantonal Bank in the U.S. criminal case against them for helping wealthy Americans dodge taxes. Romerio is also one half of Zurich’s penultimate power couple: he is married to UBS board member and fellow lawyer Isabelle Romy.

9. Iwan Deplazes, Zurich Cantonal Bank

Deplazes Iwan 500

The head of Zurich Cantonal Bank’s asset management arm Iwan Deplazes started at the regional bank as a student and has been there ever since, except for a stint at Credit Suisse. Deplazes, who has had a rocky few months integrating Swisscanto, is also part owner of Weingut zum Rosenberg, an idyllically located vineyard in the canton of Uri.

8. Iqbal Khan, Credit Suisse

Iqbal Khan 500

Surely the Swiss banker with the most meteoric career of those on finews.ch’s ranking, Iqbal Khan was put in charge of most of Credit Suisse’s private bank. The former EY consultant is undoubtedly the main beneficiary of an October shakeup under CEO Tidjane Thiam, but his targets have also gotten harder to reach after heavyweight Switzerland was carved out into a separate unit set for spinoff.

7. Urs Baumann, PG Impact Invest

Urs Baumann 501 kopie

Former Bellevue Bank CEO Urs Baumann popped up as head of the newly-founded PG Impact Investments this week, a Partners Group-backed investment house which seeks to make social or environmental improvements while earning a return. Baumann, who says he started his first company aged 20 in order to finance his studies, is looking to raise 150 million in fund capital – 60 million is already raised from the founders.

6. Paul Raphael, UBS

Paul Raphael 500

Paul Raphael is UBS’ highest emerging market banker, but like an increasing number of private bankers he actually began his career in investment banking. Raphael was previously with Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch, and Salomon Brothers. He also founded LIFE, an organization of Lebanese finance professionals in Wall Street and other financial centers, in 2009.

5. Yves Robert-Charrue, Julius Baer

Yves Robert Charrue 500

A specialist in independent asset managers, Yves Robert-Charrue has been with Baer since 2009. He is now chairman of the Baer-controlled WM Partners, an independently-run wealth manager. The winsome Robert-Charrue, who was also appointed as temporary head of Baer’s investment solutions unit after Burkhard Varnholt left for Credit Suisse in May, makes the grade on his charm alone.

4. Francois Reyl, Reyl & Cie

Francois Reyl 500

Francois Reyl is perhaps best-known for a former employee's role in a major tax scandal involving a high-level French minister. His current worry is vaulting his family’s bank over a level seen as critical mass to survive in private banking. A former M&A and leveraged buyout specialist with Credit Suisse First Boston, Reyl’s latest coup is opening a branch of the exclusive private bank in Dallas, TX.

3. Roger Studer, Bank Vontobel

Roger Studer

The head of investment banking for the Zurich-based family bank, Roger Studer is effectively a Vontobel lifer after two long stints with the bank. Under Studer, Vontobel recently opened its digital platform for structured products to third parties. He is also one of the few Swiss people to have rung Nasdaq’s opening bell – replete with cowbells.

2. Georg von Wattenwyl, Bank Vontobel

Georg von Wattenwyl

Vontobel’s head of financial products advisory and distribution, Georg von Wattenwyl, has been head of Switzerland’s structured products group since 2014. He has been at Vontobel since 1998, and was a fixed income specialist at Credit Suisse before that. A charismatic speaker, Basel transplant von Wattenwyl is a passionate supporter of FC Basel.

1. Rene Bruehlhart, Vatican Financial Intelligence Authority

Rene Bruelhart 500

Swiss lawyer Rene Bruelhart was little known outside of financial circles before he was tasked with reforming the Vatican’s finances in the waning days of Benedict’s XVIth’s papacy. The first lay person to take on the Holy See job, Bruelhart spent eight years at Liechtenstein’s financial intelligence unit before that. Few personal details are know about Bruelhart, an associate of Swiss attorney general Michael Lauber. Bruelhart has laughed off attempts to dub him the financial world’s James Bond and insisted he has no interests outside work.

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