SWITZERLAND - Barclays Global Investors (BGI) has established a local presence in Switzerland with the opening of an office in Geneva. Although BGI already manages e4.5bn for Swiss investors, including Publica and the City of Zurich, the establishment of BGI(Suisse) S.A, marks the first time the investment management firm has had a presence on the ground in the country.
The e1.1trn firm has also poached top consultant Claire Locher from Pictet Funds S.A. to lead the advance into the business, where she will fill the new role of director of Switzerland.
BGI said the decision to set up in Geneva was in recognition of the growing interest amongst Swiss institutional investors in “the scientific, risk-controlled approach to fund management”.
Andrew Skirton (pictured), global co-CEO of BGI, added: “The range of institutional investors in the Swiss market and their increasing demand for the scientific investment solutions that BGI is famous for, now calls for a presence on the ground. It is a step which will give Swiss investors access to the full force of BGI’s global investment capability”.
At Pictet & Cie, Locher set up Pictet Funds S.A in France, and became head of global accounts. Previously, she held positions at JPMorgan Futures in Paris, BZW Futures, and H-J Beck GmbH in Hamburg, and she has more than 15 years experience in the financial services industry.
Commenting on the appointment, Nigel Williams, managing director of BGI Europe and Asia (ex-Japan), said: “BGI has an exciting future in Switzerland, and we are very pleased to have someone of Claire Locher’s experience to lead our activities in this important market.”
BGI has e172bn in active equities, e182bn in fixed income, e12bn in hedge funds and e2bn in TAA overlay.
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