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Vontobel to offload equity brokerage business to Zürcher Kantonalbank

Vontobel Holding AG unveiled plans to exit its pure capital markets business, in a move that will see it offload its equity brokerage activities to Zürcher Kantonalbank.

The exit is part of the Swiss asset manager's efforts to focus on its investment business. Both firms have agreed on key terms of the deal, which will include the transfer of Bank Vontobel Europe AG's employees in London.

Completion of the deal is expected to take place in the fourth quarter of 2020, Vontobel said in a Dec. 9 statement.

The development comes as Vontobel realigns its leadership team and processes to accelerate organic growth. Roger Studer, the group's head of investment banking and executive board member, will relinquish his operational responsibilities to assume a non-operational role from 2020. He will remain a member of Bank Vontobel Europe's supervisory board.

In addition, Markus Pfister will take over the management of the structured products business while general counsel Enrico Friz will join Vontobel's executive board, effective Jan. 1, 2020.

Vontobel's advised client assets increased to CHF225 billion at November-end, owing to good performance and net new money growth of 7%, it noted.