Swiss private bank Pictet reported assets under management or custody of CHF496bn at the end of December 2018, a fall of 3% from CHF512bn last year.

However, the bank’s net profit was up 4% to CHF596m for the year ended 31 December 2018.

The bank’s operating income also increased during the period, growing 6% to CHF2.66bn.

The bank reported CHF1bn in net new money over the period.

Pictet senior partner Nicolas Pictet said: “2018 was a particularly challenging year. Volatile equity markets unsettled investors, who were cautious as a result. While the market environment remains demanding, we see opportunities in investing counter-cyclically on a longer term view.

“We therefore continue to invest strongly in talent and in infrastructure, which represent our future success.”

Partnership reshuffle

Simultaneously, the bank announced the resignation of Nicolas Pictet, effective 1 September 2019.

He will be succeeded by Renaud de Planta, who joined the bank as a partner in 1998.

De Planta formerly worked at UBS. During his 12-year tenure at UBS, he served in different management roles including CEO of UBS in Hong Kong and North Asia.

Nicolas Pictet has had a 28-year stint at Pictet. He will continue to chair the board of the group’s Swiss bank Banque Pictet & Cie and sit on the supervisory board of the group’s managing entity Pictet & Cie Group SCA.

Deputy CEO at Pictet Asset Management and head of investments, Sébastien Eisinger, will now join the Pictet partnership.

Eisinger previously served as CIO of fixed income at Pictet, where he has been working since 1999. He will assume the new responsibility on 1 April 2019.