Luxembourg-headquartered wealth manager Quintet Private Bank is planning to shut its operations in Switzerland, where it employs 87 staff and manages €1.85bn in client assets.

The move comes just 16 months after the company expanded its presence to Switzerland, following its takeover of Zurich-based Bank am Bellevue.

The decision to pull the plug off the Swiss operations comes after its non-core startup business in the country has been hampered by the global pandemic.

According Quintet Group CEO Jakob Stott, it will now take longer than expected for the Swiss unit to achieve profitability and would require more human resources, energy and capital.

Stott said: “Our existing core European and UK businesses are even more strongly positioned for the future following the merger of our EU-based subsidiaries and came through the pandemic very well. Consequently, we see clear opportunities to invest further and grow our core franchise.

“We have reviewed our growth strategy and re-examined our priorities in that light, looking ahead to the post-pandemic world.”

As part of its exit plan, Quintet has reclassified its Swiss business as non-core and is currently in discussions regarding a workforce reduction at the unit.

According to the company, the exit may take place by way of a ‘sale or wind down’.

Quintet said that more details and the timing of its exit will be announced following the conclusion of the discussions.

The company’s plans to wind down Swiss operations will not impact the activities, clients, and staffs in its other European markets and the UK, where it plans to invest further.

Quintet, which was formerly known as KBL epb, operates across 50 European cities.