The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2020 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

SBC: The Marcel Ospel interview

Over the past three months Euromoney editor Garry Evans interviewed Ospel for a total of five hours, twice in Ospel's office in Basel and once last month, the day after the bank announced its 1996 results, by video link-up between London and Basel. The full 15,000-word text follows.

The Ospel style

The road to the top

The future of Switzerland

Swiss banks and the holocaust


It's hard to think of a bank that has changed so much in so short a time.

In 1990, Swiss Bank Corporation was the weakest of the big three Swiss banks, and had a decidedly mediocre international business. The previous year, for instance, it had ranked only 36th in the Eurobond league table.

But that year the bank set in motion a far-sighted programme to reinvent itself as a top international investment bank. Within five years it made three startling acquisitions. In 1992 it bought O'Connor Partners, the Chicago-based derivatives boutique; in 1994 the large US asset manager Brinson Associates; and in 1995 SG Warburg. The three acquisitions brought new blood to the firm. The old-fashioned Swiss bankers were sidelined and replaced by younger, technically more competent Americans and Britons.

The success of this campaign is unarguable. In 1996, SBC ranked in the top three in the league tables for both international debt and equity issues. It's also a major player in derivatives, European corporate finance and international equities.


You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TODAY

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually

FREE 7 DAY TRIAL

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors

LOGIN NOW

Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree