EFG’s Pradelli looks beyond Europe’s ‘old money’
Euromoney, is part of the Delinian Group, Delinian Limited, 4 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX, Registered in England & Wales, Company number 00954730
Copyright © Delinian Limited and its affiliated companies 2024
Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

EFG’s Pradelli looks beyond Europe’s ‘old money’

Giorgio Pradelli.jpg

After a decade of restructuring, EFG International ramped up hiring last year – above all from Credit Suisse. Chief executive Giorgio Pradelli talks about the firm’s scope to lead a wave of Swiss-bank consolidation, while doubling down on new wealth from the Middle East and Asia.

Five years ago, few would have guessed that EFG International might be one of the main banks to benefit from an emergency rescue of the second-biggest Swiss bank, Credit Suisse. But since 2019, the Greek-backed firm has gone a long way in rebuilding its reputation and catching up with listed Swiss peers – and finally moving on from an extended period of restructuring following the 2008 global financial crisis.

EFG is the youngest of the mid-sized Swiss private banks that are now seeking to challenge UBS’s wealth-management dominance after the acquisition of Credit Suisse.

Its story began in 1980, when Greek oil and shipping billionaire John Latsis bought Geneva-based Banque de Dépôts from the Onassis family, later naming it EFG and moving to Zurich.

While today the Latsis family retains a controlling 45% stake, the bank listed in Switzerland in 2005, during an earlier period of rapid international growth.

In 2010, EFG had to write down SFr859 million ($949 million) associated with hedge-fund and structured-finance firms acquired in the run-up to the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, including an ill-fated late-2007 purchase of Marble Bar Asset Management.

Because of scars from the great financial crisis, and the acquisition of BSI, five years ago the perception of the bank was not as good as it is now
Giorgio Pradelli, EFG

By 2012, the bank had fully divested from Marble Bar, spun off a structured-products business, and exited 10 marginal or unprofitable private-banking locations.


Dominic O'Neill head.jpg
EMEA editor
Dominic O’Neill is EMEA editor. He joined Euromoney in 2007 to cover emerging markets, focusing on central and eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, and later on Latin America. Based in London, he has covered developed market banking since 2015.
Gift this article