The European Bank of the Swiss-based Pictet Group is relocating its headquarters from Luxembourg to Frankfurt. The new bank, Pictet & Cie (Europe) AG, will employ approximately 70 people by the end of the year at its headquarters in Frankfurt and other locations in Germany. The bank has about 630 employees across branches in Luxembourg, France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Monaco.
As reported in the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” (FAZ) – a German daily newspaper – Christian Schröder, Head of Wealth Management EU at Pictet, will lead the bank as CEO from Frankfurt.
According to Schröder, the decision to relocate the European headquarters, which had been in Luxembourg for 30 years, to Frankfurt resulted from a decision-making process that began before the COVID-19 pandemic. “During this post-Brexit period, financial centers have been reorganizing, and we wondered which location in Europe would be the most suitable in the long run,” he told FAZ: “Germany is the strongest country in Europe, which is why Frankfurt was chosen.”
Other relevant factors included proximity to the ECB, regulators, competitors, and local talent. More than 70,000 people work in Frankfurt’s banking and stock market sector, providing a large pool to recruit new skilled employees. And the trend is up. According to the Frankfurt Economic Development GmbH (Wirtschaftsförderung Frankfurt), the number grew from 65,016 in June 2015 to 71,762 in June 2022.
Although COVID-19 has accelerated digital communications, the bank also considers personal contact with regulators and supervisors “extremely important.” Furthermore, Germany’s asset management market presents growth opportunities, which relate partly to generational wealth transfer. There are numerous companies with no successors, which are then sold. This releases funds that need to be invested. According to Schröder, this opens a window of opportunity Pictet Group wants to take advantage of.