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Banca del Gottardo adopts new strategic orientation


Changes at top management level Banca del Gottardo is to focus more strongly on the private banking business and the Swiss and Italian markets. The new strategic direction will be accompanied by personnel and organisational changes. The present Chief Executive Officer, Marco J. Netzer has decided to leave the Ticino bank during 2006. The Chief Financial Officer of the Julius Baer Group, Rolf W. Aeberli, will succeed him.

While recent years have been marked by consolidation, Banca del Gottardo will now embark on a focussed growth strategy. From the existing business model of a financial institution covering a broad range of products and services, the bank is now moving towards increased specialisation in private banking. Geographically, it will focus on Switzerland for both on-shore and off-shore business and on Italy as its main foreign market. Special attention will be devoted to High Net Worth Individuals, while the Affluent client segment will be particularly important for growth in Switzerland. Felix R. Ehrat, Chairman of the Board, said: “We are gearing our activities to those areas in which we can generate added value for our clients. This means delivering excellence in our client services, which include lending to private and selected corporate customers. A first key step in implementing our new strategy was the outsourcing of IT and back office processes to B-Source in July.” According to Rolf Doerig, CEO of the Swiss Life Group, "Banca del Gottardo is an important part of the Swiss Life Group. I have no doubt that the bank’s chosen strategy will enable it to achieve its ambitious goals and to make a significant contribution to the Group’s overall success in the future, too”.

Personnel and organisational changes
In connection with the new strategy, Rolf W. Aeberli, who will join Banca del Gottardo from Julius Baer Group, will take over the operational management from Marco J. Netzer on 1 February 2006. The Board of Directors is convinced that Rolf Aeberli, who has considerable management experience in banking and a proven track record in various functions, is ideally suited to successfully implement the chosen strategy and to achieve the bank’s ambitious goals as its new CEO. Nicola Mordasini, who will assume the position of full-time Deputy CEO and who is proposed for election as Chairman of the Italian subsidiary Banca del Gottardo Italia, will support Mr Aeberli in his new position. The bank will operate its private banking business through the geographical divisions “Ticino and Italy” and “Rest of Switzerland (On-shore and Off-shore)”; in Switzerland particular attention will be paid to the Affluent business segment. Pending new permanent appointments, Nicola Mordasini will temporarily lead these units. Philipp Hoch, currently CFO of Swiss Re in London, will join Banca del Gottardo’s top management team as Chief Financial Officer. As announced on 5 September, he replaces Thomas Müller, who will take over the position of CFO at the Swiss Life Group.

A word of thanks to Marco J. Netzer

After more than seven years as CEO of Banca del Gottardo, Marco J. Netzer has decided to leave the bank. “For me personally this is the ideal time to face new challenges after many eventful and thoroughly satisfactory years,” he said. Felix R. Ehrat praised his accomplishments as CEO: “With regret we accepted Marco Netzer’s decision. During his term, which coincided with several turbulent phases, he successfully led the bank with outstanding commitment and circumspection. In an extremely adverse market environment he succeeded in stabilising the bank's market position to form a solid foundation for future growth”. Marco Netzer will continue to run the bank until Rolf W. Aeberli takes over, and will be at the disposal of the new CEO in an advisory capacity until mid-2006.

Setting clear objectives
Banca del Gottardo’s top management has set clear profitability and growth targets. From 2008 the bank aims to acquire one billion francs in net new money annually, achieve a 60% cost/income ratio and generate return on equity in excess of 15%. More detailed information about Banca del Gottardo’s objectives and strategy programme will be announced at the analyst meeting of the Swiss Life Group in Zurich on 1 December 2005.

Media conference in Lugano today at 10 a.m.
Felix R. Ehrat and Marco J. Netzer will make a detailed presentation today, 6 October 2005 at 10 a.m. at a media conference at Hotel Eden in Lugano Paradiso. The conference will be held in Italian. Participation via teleconference is possible by phoning 044 419 91 42, PIN-Code 772104. The presentation can be viewed at under Media & News.

Banca del Gottardo, with head office in Lugano (Switzerland), is a company in the Swiss Life Group, a leading provider of pensions and life insurance in Europe.
The Bank has a well expanded national and international network. With subsidiaries, branches and representative offices in Zurich, Geneva, Lausanne, Bellinzona, Chiasso, Locarno, Bergamo, Milan, Rome, Treviso, Turin, Athens, Luxembourg, Madrid, Monaco, Paris, Hong Kong and Nassau (Bahamas). Banca del Gottardo is positioned to offer top-of-the-line global financial services, delivered by a team of highly qualified specialists, to its local and international clientele.