Falcon Private Bank names new chairman as part of reshuffle

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Falcon Private Bank, the Zurich-based, Abu Dhabi-owned banking entity, has named Roberto Grassi to succeed Christian Wenger as chairman.

Wenger stepped down earlier this month in the wake of the departure of Walter Berchtold as chief executive. Berchtold was succeeded by Martin Keller, as part of what the company said was “the completion of the first stage” of a planned turnaround “ahead of the launch of [a] new market positioning of Falcon Private Bank, scheduled for the fourth quarter” of this year.

Grassi comes to Falcon Private Bank from a Lugano-based consultancy, Fidinam Group, where he had been chief executive since 2001, and had also served as deputy chairman of Banca Stato Cantone Ticino, Falcon said in a statement.

Falcon has been grappling with fallout resulting from its links to the  1MDB Malaysian corruption scandal. As reported, the Singapore regulator  ordered Falcon’s Singapore branch to cease operating in that market last October, citing what it said at the time had been its serious failures in anti-money laundering controls and improper conduct by senior management, in connection with the 1MBD matter.

Falcon Bank was founded in Zurich in 1965 as Ueberseebank, and re-named AIG Private Bank in 1998. Following its acquisition by interests related to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in 2009, it was re-named Falcon Private Bank.

Today, according to a statement on its website, its largest stakeholder is the International Petroleum Investment Co, which is in turn wholly owned by the government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Mubadala Investment Company PJSC.

Earlier this year, it launched a bitcoin-denominated asset management service.