The Swiss-headquartered Vontobel Group has
launched an onshore private banking business in Dubai to target
wealthy local clients and to grow its client base in the Middle

A Vontobel spokesperson told PBI the
bank, which operates an integrated business model, will provide
onshore private banking services in addition to the already
existing investment bank. Structured products will form a core part
of Vontobel’s offering.

However, Vontobel’s asset management service
is not presented onshore, but may be provided out of Switzerland if
client requires, the spokesperson added.


Vontobel follows other Swiss

Vontobel joins other Swiss-based private
banks, including Bank Sarasin, Julius Baer and Mirabaud, which are
building their Middle East operations.

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By GlobalData

Vontobel said it does not have a headcount
target but, does want to grow its Dubai presence aggressively. The
bank has a client’s asset under management target but declined to
disclose it.


Middle East growth

This summer, the bank hired Ramzi Charaf as
regional head to oversee its Dubai-based private banking operations
from HSBC Private Bank. Charaf joined the firm together with his

According to Vontobel’s head of private
banking Peter Fanconi, the business expansion into the Middle East
is a response to the region’s “undiminished growth potential” as
well as a logical step forward.