Swiss bank Lombard Odier makes waves in the Middle East
The snow-capped peaks of Switzerland and the sweeping dunes of the Middle East are a stark geographical contrast. Both places also offer very distinctive financial services sectors. Swiss banking boasts a long legacy of prudence, discretion and tradition; Islamic finance is a comparative newcomer – innovative and values-based. It might come as a surprise then, that one Swiss bank has been marrying these virtues together in the Middle East for more than half a century.
Established in Geneva in 1796, Lombard Odier has always embraced a central philosophy: rethink everything. That instinctive readiness to adapt is built on Swiss foundations of reliability and strength. Lombard Odier acts for the long-term. Since 2006 it has built an award-winning UAE presence, carrying off top honours at the regional WealthBriefing Awards for the last seven years in a row. The bank has a consistent strategy and vision; the same management team that first walked through the doors of the Dubai representative office remains there today. Lombard Odier’s independent ownership model places the client centre-stage. Its six managing partners are all owners, managers and bankers; they are entrepreneurs in the truest sense. Their interests are structurally aligned with those of the bank’s clients.
As a family business, Lombard Odier connects with other families. Some of its Partners represent the seventh generation at the bank, and Lombard Odier understands the importance of transmitting wealth across generations. In the Middle East, the bank’s commitment to bespoke wealth management, and its local knowledge and presence complements the skills of 210+ investment professionals in Switzerland. Tailor-made client solutions are delivered through market-leading technology.
Lombard Odier’s combination of Swiss and Middle Eastern culture and values was crystallised earlier this year, with the launch of the Lombard Odier Shariah Discretionary mandate, which received certification from the Shariah Supervisory Board of Amanie Advisors. It offers a range of risk profiles, which blend holdings in sukuks and conservatively selected equities with key thematic funds in areas such as real estate. It draws on Lombard Odier’s powerful heritage in sustainable investment and its fundamental belief that wealth can be a force for good, as well as generating returns. For Lombard Odier Capital Partner Arnaud Leclercq, the 2018 anniversary of the global financial crisis reminds us that without prudent management, banks too can come and go. “Lombard Odier’s story is one of strength and solidity,” he says. “Through 222 years we have been an emblem of Swiss banking’s ability to thrive and grow. And thanks to our deep roots in the Middle East, we will serve a new era of clients for generations to come.”
“Lombard Odier’s story is one of strength and solidity. Through 222 years we have been an emblem of Swiss banking’s ability to thrive and grow”
Arnaud Leclercq, Capital Partner, Lombard Odier Group
The planned new Lombard Odier headquarters in Switzerland