Further Bank Sarasin staff exit to join up-and-coming rival Notenstein

Notenstein is recruiting up to 50 for asset management

It’s emerged that more staff are leaving Swiss private bank Sarasin to join up-and-coming rival Notenstein, following the latter’s recruitment of former Sarasin chiefs Andreas Knörzer and Aris Prepoudis.

Knörzer, Sarazin’s ex-head of asset management and sustainability and institutional head Prepoudis, are joining Notenstein on December 1 in similar roles.

Responsible Investor now understands that another five portfolio managers are joining Notenstein from Sarasin’s equity team.

Notenstein declined to comment directly but said: “It is our goal to become one of the top three private banks in Switzerland. To this end, we are recruiting up to 50 specialists for our asset management business.”

The bank also reiterated that Prepoudis and Knörzer would enable it to expand its business with pension funds and foundations, including sustainable investments.

St. Gallen-based Notenstein, which grew out of the now-defunct Wegelin private bank, is owned by Swiss cooperative banking group Raiffeisen.

Sarasin, which completed its merger with Safra to form “J. Safra Sarasin” this week, did not return requests for comment.Sarasin’s former press team of Benedikt Gratzl and Franziska Gumpfer-Keller abruptly quit in late May alongside chief executive Joachim Strähle.

RI understands that the Basle-based bank will replace the five departing portfolio managers. The banking sources also said Sarasin’s commitment to sustainable investment remained intact, as evidenced by the appointment of Jan Poser as Knörzer’s replacement and the fact that it retains a staff of 10 sustainable research analysts.

According to J. Safra Sarasin’s consolidated business report, published in mid-May, the bank earned CHF171.2m (€94.7m) in 2012, up 44% from the previous year. Operating income more than doubled to CHF555.6m. Both increases are mostly due to the consolidation of Safra’s banking operations with those of Sarasin.

J. Safra Sarasin starts with CHF130bn (€104bn) in assets under management from private and institutional clients. Including its offices in Geneva, Basle and at Paradeplatz in downtown Zurich, the bank employs 2,140 people at 30 locations worldwide.