Private banking groups Gonet & Cie SA and Arab Bank (Switzerland) have signed a strategic business partnership agreement which will create a combined banking group with assets under management in excess of CHF10bn (£9bn, $10.6bn, €10.3bn).
As part of the agreement, Arab Bank (Switzerland) will take a majority stake in the family holding which owns Gonet & Cie, which is part of the Swiss-headquartered Gonet Group and owns Gonet Bank & Trust (Bahamas).
Each bank will stay independent, keeping its name and banking licence. Ultimately, a newly-established holding company will own both entities, Arab Bank (Switzerland) and the family holding, pending approval by Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Finma).
Gonet is a Swiss private bank, family owned and based in Geneva for over 175 years, serving both private and institutional clients in Switzerland and internationally. Created in 1962, Arab Bank Switzerland offers wealth management services for high net worth individuals and entrepreneurs.
This comes several months after Gonet & Cie bought the Swiss arm of Belgian group Banque Degroof Petercam for an undisclosed sum.
The deal will see Gonet & Cie owner and chief executive, Nicolas Gonet, become president of the board of directors at Gonet & Cie in 2024.
Jean-René Lepezel, currently on the executive committee of the Bank, will become chief executive of Gonet & Cie, effective on 1 January 2023.
Lepezel joined Gonet & Cie SA in 2010 and has been in charge of the wealth management division since 2017.
Also Jean-Pierre Roth, vice-president of the board of directors of Arab Bank (Switzerland), and Serge Robin, chief executive of Arab Bank (Switzerland), will be nominated to the board of directors of Gonet & Cie.
Robin said: “Gonet & Cie SA is an ideal partner to strengthen our presence in Switzerland, given its Swiss DNA and its brand awareness locally. This partnership is a unique opportunity to reach ambitious growth targets in a Swiss private banking market which is changing rapidly. Our two banks will keep growing and, together, will constitute a unique banking group with a particularly wide offering.”
Nicolas Gonet added: “I strongly believe that partnering with Arab Bank Switzerland will significantly benefit Gonet & Cie SA and its clients. Created 60 years ago in Switzerland, Arab Bank Switzerland has a strong local presence, ambitious objectives and a complementary offering to ours, which will prove particularly beneficial for both our clients and our employees in the long run.”
All of the changes are subject to the approval of Finma. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.