There are number of top-level changes happening at the Swiss firm, which operates in a number of jurisdictions around the world. As previously reported, its CEO, in the post for 12 years, it stepping down next year.
Vontobel, the Swiss wealth manager whose CEO, Zeno Staub, recently announced that he was leaving to focus on domestic politics, yesterday said one of its senior figures would become its new chief operating officer and head of technology and services.
Markus Pfister, who is head of structured solutions and treasury (SS&T), will take the COO helm from Felix Lenhard, effective 1 January next year. Pfister also will become a member of the firm’s executive committee.
With more than 30 years of industry experience, Pfister joined Vontobel in 2004 as head of financial products engineering and development.
In May this year Lenhard told Vontobel that he intended to step down as COO at the end of this year. To ensure an orderly transition, Lenhard, who has worked at the Swiss firm for more than 22 years, will retain his ties to the company beyond that date.
Vontobel also named an internal candidate, Otto Huber, as the new head of the SS&T Center of Excellence. Huber has been head of treasury and fixed income solutions since 2020. Prior to that, he spent almost 15 years at Credit Suisse, where his final position was as global head of liquidity risk management. Since 2019, Huber has also lectured in corporate finance at the University of St Gallen.
SS&T will continue to operate as an independent entity and Huber will report to Christel Rendu de Lint. In addition to her role as head investments, she will represent SS&T on the executive committee.
Markus Pfister and Otto Huber are due to begin their new roles on 1 January 2024. All changes will take effect on 1 January.
The appointment of Markus Pfister as COO is subject to regulatory approval, Vontobel said.
In May this year, Staub said he would be stepping down as CEO at the April 2024 general meeting of shareholders. Staub wants to represent the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft (AWG) of the Canton of Zurich and stand as its lead candidate for “die Mitte” in the elections to the Swiss National Council this coming autumn.
Staub’s successor will be determined by the end of this year; Vontobel said it is considering external and internal candidates.