In a top management reshuffle, James Buchanan-Michaelson, head of Barclays private banking business in Switzerland is leaving the bank, with immediate effect.
He had been in the post since 2015, when he joined Barclays from Coutts after the latter sold its Swiss private banking business to Union Bancaire Privée.
Geneva speculation that his departure could herald the withdrawal from Switzerland by Barclays was not being treated seriously, however. Barclays has stayed in Switzerland although rivals like Coutts and Standard Chartered have closed down or sold their Alpine operations amid the huge regulatory and political pressure on the old Swiss offshore model, and its association with tax evasion. Barclays has withdrawn from Asian private banking.
Mr Buchanan-Michaelson is being replaced by Gerald Mathieu,who has been with Barclays in Monaco since 2010, leading the private banking team
In turn, Andrew Mott and Sophie Saurini have been appointed to lead the private banking teams in Monaco, a Barclays spokesperson said. Jean Daniel Troy continues in his role as deputy general manager for Monaco.
These changes are within the EMEA Private Bank team, part of Barclays Private Bank & Overseas Services (PB&OS) business headed by Karen Frank, which includes both Switzerland and Monaco.
The spokesperson said, “These promotions reflect the opportunity we see for strong growth for PB&OS in EMEA and our commitment to the region, especially Switzerland and Monaco.”
Francesco Grossoli, chief executive, Private Bank, EMEA said, “With Gerald in Switzerland, Andrew and Sophie in Monaco and Steve Klemme, who recently joined as head of Middle East, we have a strong and experienced EMEA leadership team in place for Private Bank & Overseas Services to support the delivery of tailored and relevant solutions for our clients. We’ve got a strong mandate for growth and EMEA plays a significant role in delivering this ambition.”
Mr Buchanan-Michaelson was thanked for his stewardship of the business, for bringing colleagues together in Switzerland, and the bank wished him well in his new endeavours.
He originally worked for JP Morgan Private Bank in the UK private banking team, before going on to Coutts in 2005 along with defecting colleagues Duncan MacIntyre and Mark Evans.