Reports

Swiss Private Bank Hails "Marked Improvement" To Results

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, London, 18 May 2021

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Banque Cramer & Cie has made a big effort to improve its efficiency and profitability over the past year, it said. In 2020, it refocused on its Swiss platform, concentrating on priority markets such as Russia.

Geneva-based Banque Cramer & Cie yesterday said that its 2020 figures showed a “marked improvement” after a revamp of operations following a testing period. Operating profit has more than tripled.

Revenues last year rose by 3 per cent year-on-year, reaching SFr39.7 million. Assets under management reached SFr2.936 billion at the end of December, rising by 3 per cent from a year before.

Taking into account one-off income from a business sale, net profit increased, reaching SFr5.3 million in 2020, compared with SFr300 million in 2019.

The firm refocused on its Swiss platform last year, concentrating its expansion efforts on its priority markets: Eastern Europe and Russia, as well as Latin America. 

After opening a representative office in Moscow in the autumn of 2018, Banque Cramer & Cie appointed André Mankowsky as head of private banking and a member of its general management in January this year. A dual Russian/French speaker, Mankowsky has lived in Moscow and has more than 25 years of experience in the financial industry, including 15 years as head of private clients' units for the Eastern European markets and Russia.

To improve performance and manage regulation, the bank cut operating costs, which fell by 6 per cent overall in 2020.

Like some of its rivals, the firm has also sought to bolster its position via mergers and acquisitions. For example, at the start of January 2019, Banque Cramer and its shareholder Norinvest Holding bought M&C Finance in Lugano, an external asset management firm founded in 2003.

The executive committee at the bank is made up of Marc-Henri Balma (chief operating officer); André Mankowsky, head of private banking, and Stéphane Poulin, chief financial and risk officer. The post of CEO is empty as at the time of publication.  In 2018 the CEO, Cédric Anker, left the firm after a reported disagreement about strategy with Massimo Esposito, who owns the bank via Norinvest. Other board members are Michael Ehrenhold (vice chairman) and Sophie Maillard (board member) ansd Alain Sierro (board member). 

Last October Swiss federal prosecutors opened a criminal investigation into the bank amid a corruption probe into the affairs of the Brazilian state oil company Petrobras and construction firm Odebrecht (source: Reuters, 8 October). The bank declined to comment at the time. 

Besides Geneva, the bank has offices in Zurich, Lugano and Lausanne and an affiliated company in Nassau.

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