Raiffeisen Schweiz Genossenschaft sold its majority stake in private equity firm Investnet AG to the latter's minority shareholders.
The transaction is part of a reorganization of Investnet Holding AG, which comprises Investnet AG and KMU Capital AG. The change will separate the operations of the two units as well as their management teams.
Raiffeisen Schweiz decided to do this now because of an ongoing investigation of Swiss financial market watchdog Finma, according to a report by finews.ch. Finma is investigating alleged misconduct on the board of the Swiss cooperative banks group. The investigation is linked to a probe against Raiffeisen Schweiz's former CEO Pierin Vincenz, who also holds a stake in Investnet.
Vincenz left the banking group in September 2015, a few months after Raiffeisen Schweiz bundled Investnet AG and KMU Capital AG under the umbrella of Investnet Holding.
Finma has meanwhile suspended its probe against Vincenz after he agreed to step down from all posts held at Finma-regulated companies and agreed not to seek a job at such organizations in the future.
Vincenz, who sits on the board of Investnet Holding AG, will not stand for re-election in early April and will focus on his role as a private investor within the firm in the future, Raiffeisen Schweiz said Feb. 26.
After it transfers its majority holding in Investnet AG to minority shareholders, Raiffeisen Schweiz will take over 100% of KMU Capital AG, in which it currently holds a majority stake. The transaction will clearly separate the operations two companies. KMU Capital will focus primarily on investments in small and medium-sized enterprises, while Investnet AG, under its new owners, will focus on investment advisory services.
The two companies will sign a cooperation agreement that will settle their future relationship. Both Investnet AG and KMU Capital will have new management from April.
Although the Finma investigation into Raiffeisen Schweiz is still ongoing, the reorganization of the private equity business as well as a reshuffle of the banking group's board of directors, due in 2020, should meet most of the requirements of the regulator, according to finews.ch.