The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Media: Julius Baer CEO resigns on Thursday

Updated at 31 Jan 2024 9:10 pm

According to media reports, Julius Baer CEO Philipp Rickenbacher must resign from his post with immediate effect due to the large loans to the insolvent Signa Group. The bank will announce this on Thursday together with the annual figures, according to media reports.

Several media outlets in Switzerland and abroad cited insiders in unison on Wednesday evening. A Julius Baer spokeswoman declined to comment on the reports when asked by the news agency AWP.

According to the reports, Rickenbacher is not the only top manager to lose his job because of Signa. There will also be changes to the Board of Directors, wrote the "Neue Zürcher Zeitung".

According to the "Financial Times" (FT) and the Bloomberg news agency, Rickenbacher's deputy Nic Dreckmann will now take over as interim CEO.

Write-off of the entire Signa position?

At the same time, the entire Signa positions amounting to CHF 606 million will be written off, wrote the online portal Tippinpoint. Further measures include a reduction in bonuses for top managers and new governance structures. According to the FT, there are also plans to withdraw completely from Signa-style businesses.

Julius Baer confirmed in November that it had granted a loan commitment of CHF 606 million to a "European conglomerate". This is apparently the now insolvent Signa Group owned by Austrian real estate investor René Benko. The bank has since formed loan provisions of CHF 82 million, CHF 70 million of which relates to the impaired exposure.

The private bank will present its 2023 financial statements on Thursday, with the announcement of further credit provisions widely expected. Julius Baer had already announced in November that net profit for 2023 will be below the previous year's level.


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