The Pictet Group

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The Pictet Group
IndustryPrivate banking and financial services
FoundedJuly 23, 1805; 213 years ago (1805-07-23)
FoundersJacob-Michel-François de Candolle and Jacques-Henry Mallet
HeadquartersGeneva, Switzerland
Number of locations
Area served
ServicesAsset management, Wealth Management, Investment funds, Asset services and Trading
AUMDecrease CHF 496 billion[1]
Number of employees
Capital ratio21.1 percentage
RatingMoody's: Prime 1/Aa2;[2]
Fitch: F1+/AA-[3]

The Pictet Group, known simply as Pictet, is a Swiss multinational private bank and financial services company founded and based in Switzerland. Headquartered in Geneva, it is one of the largest Swiss banks and primarily offers services in wealth management, asset management and asset servicing to private clients and institutions.

The Pictet Group employs around 4,300 people, including 900 investment managers.[4][5] It has a network of 27 offices in financial services centres, including registered banks in Geneva, Luxembourg, Nassau, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Pictet does not engage in investment banking, nor does it extend commercial loans. According to the latest Annual Report, the Group had 496 CHF Bn of assets under management, with its total capital ratio significantly exceeding the levels demanded by Swiss regulators.[6] Banque Pictet & Cie SA is rated Prime 1/Aa2 by Moody’s,[2] and F1+/AA- by Fitch.[3]


The Scripte de société (memorandum of association) for the Banque De Candolle Mallet & Cie

Pictet traces its origin to the foundation of Banque De Candolle Mallet & Cie in Geneva on 23 July 1805. On that day, Jacob-Michel-François de Candolle and Jacques-Henry Mallet signed, with three limited partners,[7] a Scripte de Société (memorandum of association) to form a partnership.[8] Like all Geneva banks at the time, it started out trading in goods, but soon abandoned trading to concentrate on assisting clients in their financial and commercial business and advising them on managing their wealth. By the 1830s, it held a broad range of securities on behalf of clients, to diversify their risks.

On the death of de Candolle in 1841, his wife’s nephew Edouard Pictet joined the partnership, and the name Pictet has remained with the bank ever since. Between 1890 and 1929, the Bank went through a period of substantial growth, the number of employees rising from 12 to more than 80 over 30 years.[9] Although the Pictet family had been intimately engaged with the bank since the mid 19th century, it was only in 1926 that the company changed its name to Pictet & Cie.

After a period of relative stagnation marked by the Great Depression of the 1930s and the Second World War, Pictet began to expand in the 1950s as the Western world entered a prolonged period of prosperity and economic growth. In the late 1960s, the Bank embarked on the new business of institutional asset management, which has since grown to account for around half its total assets under management.[10] In 1974, it opened an office in Montreal, the first of its current network of 27 offices around the world. Its workforce of 70 staff in 1950 rose to 300 by 1980.[11]

As of 2011, Pictet was Switzerland’s third largest wealth management company, and also one of Europe’s largest banks in private hands[12]

In 2014, Pictet changed its legal structure from a simple partnership to become a corporate partnership (société en commandite par actions) which acts as a holding company for the Group’s activities around the world.[13] Pictet did not publish its annual results during its 209 years as a simple partnership, but published annual results for the first time upon becoming a corporate partnership.[14] This was designed to enable the Group to manage its businesses in an international environment,[15] and also allows the eight partners who are owner managers of the Group to preserve the rules of succession which have remained unchanged for more than 200 years. Under those rules, ownership cannot be passed down to partners’ children: it is a temporary status which ends once a partner has retired. Partners hand over ownership of the Group in batches every five to ten years so that there are always partners from three generations connected to the family, to avoid problems that can arise with generational change.[12] To date, there have been only 43 partners.[16]

Pictet operates by assigning business activities and key functions like human resources, risk control and legal affairs to different partners. Small committees supervise the various corporate activities so that no single partner is solely responsible for an entire area. The Group’s Senior Partner, who is the oldest partner at the time of appointment, has oversight for all areas concerning central corporate functions, such as HR, auditing, risk and compliance.[12]


Wealth management[edit]

Pictet Wealth Management provides private banking expertise, wealth solutions for owners of larger fortunes and family office services for families of exceptional wealth. The services include dedicated asset management, advice on strategy and investment selection, execution in global markets, safeguarding client assets and continuous monitoring. For hedge funds, private equity and real estate investments, Pictet Alternative Advisors, an independent unit, selects third-party investment managers to construct alternative investment portfolios for investors.

Operating out of 21 Pictet offices worldwide, Pictet Wealth Management had CHF 210bn of assets under management on December 31, 2018 and employed 882 full-time equivalent employees, including 310 private bankers.[4]

On November 26, 2012, it was reported that Pictet's wealth management unit was the target of a United States Department of Justice probe along with 11 other Swiss financial firms. The Department of Justice investigated banks that it suspected of aiding tax evasion.[17] Unlike the other firms, Pictet indicated that it would not book any provisions in its 2015 accounts and that its current capital reserves were large enough to cover any potential fine.[18]

Asset management[edit]

Pictet Asset Management manages assets for institutional investors and investment funds, including large pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and financial institutions. It also manages assets for individual investors through an extensive range of mandates, products and services. It provides clients with active and quantitative support for managing equities, fixed income, multi-asset and alternative strategies.

Since 1997, the department has been developing Socially Responsible Investments (SRI). It now manages SRI core equity portfolios for all major markets. It has also taken a thematic approach, focusing on environmental themes or sectors such as clean energy and timber that are key to the concept of sustainability.[19]

Operating out of 17 Pictet offices worldwide, Pictet Asset Management had CHF 171bn of assets under management on December 31, 2018 and employed around 917 full-time equivalent employees, including 381 investment professionals.[4]

Asset services[edit]

Pictet Asset Services provides a range of services for asset managers, pension funds and banks. These include: fund services for institutional or private investors and for independent asset managers; custody services in more than 80 countries; and round-the-clock trading across all significant asset classes by Pictet Global Markets. Fund services include setting up funds, administering them and fund governance. With ten booking centres accessing the single global platform, Pictet Asset Services had CHF 448bn of assets in custody on December 31, 2018 and employed a little more than 1,500 full-time equivalent employees.[4]

Prix Pictet[edit]

In 2008, Pictet launched the Prix Pictet, an award for photography highlighting societal interactions and problems.[20] Each year, nominated photographers are invited to submit a series of pictures on a chosen theme, such as "Water" (2008) and "Space" (2017).[21][22] The winner is selected by an independent jury presided by Sir David King.[23] Kofi Annan was honorary president until his death in 2018.[24]


  1. ^ "Annual Report 2018" (PDF). 31 December 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Moody's takes rating actions on Swiss banks". Moody’s Global Credit Research. 21 May 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Fitch Affirms Banque Pictet at 'AA-'; Outlook Stable". Fitch ratings. 17 December 2014. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d "Annual review 2018" (PDF). 31 December 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  5. ^ "Annual report 2014" (PDF). The Pictet Group. 31 December 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  6. ^ "Bénéfice net et masse sous gestion record pour Pictet" [Record profit and AUM for Pictet]. Le Temps (in French). 7 February 2018. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  7. ^ Jean-Louis Mallet, brother of Jacques-Henry, Paul Martin and Jean-Louis Falquet
  8. ^ "Pictet & Cie", 1805-1955, Atar, Geneva, 1955.
  9. ^ Pictet Group Historical Archives, ref. AHP
  10. ^ "200 years of History : one bank and the men who built it", Atar, Geneva, 2005.
  11. ^ "Pictet & Cie, Genève : 1805-1980", Geneva, Atar, 1980.
  12. ^ a b c Städeli, Markus (27 November 2011). "Eckpunkte einer langen Firmengeschichte" [Turning points in a long corporate history]. NZZ (in German). Zurich. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  13. ^ "Pictet et Lombard Odier tournent le dos à deux cents ans d'histoire". Le Temps (in French). 5 February 2013. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  14. ^ Chad Bray (26 August 2014). "Swiss Bank Pictet Reveals Results for First Time". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  15. ^ Sallier, Pierre-Alexandre (6 February 2013). "Schisme chez les banquiers privés" [Schism amongst private bankers]. Le Temps (in French). Geneva. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  16. ^ "Boris Collardi, une ascension-éclair dans le monde de la finance". Bilan (in French). 27 November 2017. Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  17. ^ Giles (26 November 2012). "Pictet Targeted in Widening U.S. Probe of Swiss Wealth Managers". Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  18. ^ "États-Unis: Pictet & Cie attend une réponse" [United States: Pictet & Cie awaiting decision]. Tribune de Genève (in French). 13 January 2016. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  19. ^ "Socially Responsible Investment (SRI)". Pictet. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  20. ^ Lucia De Stefani (10 July 2015). "Finalists for Prix Pictet Photography Award Announced". Time. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  21. ^ Secher, Benjamin (2008-11-12). "The inaugural Prix Pictet: Kofi Annan and the elemental power of the image". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  22. ^ O'Hagan, Sean (2017-05-04). "Prix Pictet 2017: Richard Mosse wins prize with heat-map shots of refugees". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  23. ^ Silva, Bianca. "12 Photographers Selected as Finalists for Prix Pictet". Time. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  24. ^ "Prix Pictet". The Financial Times. 3 July 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2015.

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