Raiffeisen hives off asset management business at Notenstein to create new subsidiary

‘Notenstein Asset Management’, which includes ex-Sarasin sustainability team members, is to launch in mid-2015 with CHF 12bn in assets

Raiffeisen, the Swiss cooperative bank that owns Notenstein, has separated the institutional business from the private client business at Notenstein and merged the institutional business with another asset management boutique it owns (TCMG) to create a new subsidiary. The new subsidiary is called ‘Notenstein Asset Management’ (Notenstein AM). If approved by the Swiss regulator, it will start business in mid-2015 with CHF12bn (€9.9bn) under management and 180 staff. Chief Executive of Notenstein AM will be Aris Prepoudis, who is currently Head of Institutional Sales at the private bank. Deputy CEO will be Andreas Knörzer who is Head of Asset Management at Notenstein.
Prepoudis and Knörzer were two of almost 50 staff that left Swiss sustainable bank J. Safra Sarasin last year to build a new institutional business at Notenstein specialising in sustainable investments (see earlier RI report). Notenstein AM has also recruited a Chief Investment Officer, Peter Oertmann, who comes from another Swiss asset management boutique called Vescore where he was CEO.In a statement, Notenstein said the hiving off of its asset management operations would underscore the private bank’s independence in choosing products for its clients, adding that, according to client needs, it would continue to source those products from Notenstein AM: “The start of Notenstein Asset Management is the result of the successful build-out of the asset management business in the past year and a logical step in terms of focus,” said Notenstein CEO Adrian Künzi. “Our bank can now focus on products and services for private clients, while the new entity (Notenstein AM) will focus on institutional asset management.”
Raiffeisen CEO Pierre Vincenz added that the creation of Notenstein AM was also necessary to deal with the termination of its distribution contract with Vontobel, another Swiss private bank.
Under the contract, which will end in late 2016, Raiffeisen distributes an array of Vontobel-managed mutual funds through its national network of more than 1,000 branches. It’s a white label arrangement, where the funds, including six sustainable products are sold under the Raiffeisen brand name. From early 2017, Notenstein AM will replace Vontobel as a product source for Raiffeisen banks in Switzerland.