Magazine Issues » September 2018

EDITORIAL: Swiss frankness

Nick-FitzpatrickPanasonic is moving its European headquarters from the UK to Holland. It’s a tax-related move but inevitably linked to Brexit and with only 20 people likely to be affected, it doesn’t sound so complicated.

But look at Switzerland’s Mirabaud Asset Management. Part of a wider Swiss private bank, it’s 8.8 billion Swiss francs of assets under management make it positively a boutique operation when compared to Panasonic, which has 8 trillion yen of revenue. But Mirabaud’s UK staffing is higher and more Brexit-complex than at the Japanese conglomerate.

Mirabaud Group’s Westminster office employs 100 people (a seventh of the bank’s global workforce) and nearly half of them work in fund management.

The fact that most of its portfolio managers are in London is not lost on Lionel Aeschlimann, the chief executive of Mirabaud AM. Many other executives with deep business ties to the UK and facing Brexit questions will relate to Aeschlimann, who not only approaches things with a legal mind, but also understands what it is to be “third country” to the EU.

Nick Fitzpatrick is group editor of Funds Europe

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