Press releases

Herbert J. Scheidt hands over Chairmanship of Swiss Bankers Association to Marcel Rohner

Successor chosen unanimously by Board of Directors 
  • Having served as Chairman of the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) for five years and reached the age of 70, Herbert J. Scheidt has expressed the wish to hand over his office to a new incumbent at the next Annual General Meeting. The Board of Directors extends its sincere thanks to him.
  • The SBA Nomination Committee put forward the name of Marcel Rohner, Member of the SBA Board of Directors Committee and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Union Bancaire Privée (UBP). The Board of Directors confirmed this nomination unanimously at its meeting on May 11, thereby appointing Marcel Rohner to succeed Herbert J. Scheidt.
  • The official handover of office will take place during Bankers Day on September 16, 2021, and Marcel Rohner will take up his new post the following day.

Herbert J. Scheidt has been a Member of the SBA’s Board of Directors since 2011 and its Chairman since September 2016. The 2016 election followed a resolution by the Board of Directors to conduct a comprehensive strategic and organisational reorientation of the SBA, and the new Chairman’s remit included implementing that change. The SBA pressed ahead with the repositioning during the era of Herbert J. Scheidt, and it has now been brought to a successful conclusion. Today, the SBA is a responsive umbrella association with an extensive network covering all areas of the financial centre, and with a modern system of governance in place.

Herbert J. Scheidt: the SBA is committed to the financial centre as a whole

“In our consociational democracy, the involvement of the private sector in the political process is enshrined in law. The work of associations, based on a militia system, has become much more challenging – but all the more important – in our pluralistic society. We view our ability to deliver results, working hand in hand with over 500 specialists from our member banks, as a commitment to our members, the financial centre and the common good. If there were no associations, it would be necessary to invent them, in order to bring the disparate interests within our modern society together under the auspices of a body such as the SBA”, commented Herbert J. Scheidt.

The Board of Directors thanks Herbert J. Scheidt for his great dedication to the financial centre. “The SBA today boasts a high level of specialist expertise, a strongly future-oriented approach and positions that are as balanced as they are persuasive. In a number of projects, notably the small banks regime that is important for regional institutions, I have found Herbert to be a skilled negotiator and strong advocate for SBA members’ interests”, said SBA Board and Nomination Committee Member Marianne Wildi, CEO of Hypothekarbank Lenzburg and Vice-Chair of the Association of Swiss Regional Banks.

The SBA’s constructive dialogue in a partnership of equals with the authorities and policymakers is a vital basic function of a successful business policy. One important outcome of this is the FINMA Ordinance which came into force last year. It brings clarity to the relationship between the sector and the regulatory and supervisory authorities, reducing the regulatory burden on small banks and so allowing them to look to the future with confidence. “It is thanks to Herbert that the SBA embraced its role as a knowledge organisation by setting up competence centres on sustainability and digitalisation at an early stage. This enables it to act as a topic leader, creating an environment in which innovation can flourish and Swiss banks’ competitiveness can be safeguarded”, noted Board and Nomination Committee Member Axel A. Weber, Chairman of the Board of Directors of UBS Group AG.

Marcel Rohner: creating space for the banks

The Board of Directors is delighted to have secured the services of Marcel Rohner, a highly experienced management figure, as the new Chairman of the SBA. “I should like to thank the Board of Directors for their unanimous support. I see the trust expressed in me by the members of the Board as both a motivation and a responsibility. I look forward to moving the financial centre ahead and creating the best possible environment for innovation in the various business areas through a clear focus on market-driven solutions”, said Marcel Rohner, adding “I am familiar with the highs and lows of the banking business and with large, medium-sized and small institutions. The most important lesson I have learned is that for the banks, shared interests are the norm and diverging interests the exception. I am therefore convinced that the Bankers Association can continue to do valuable work on behalf of the sector as a whole going forward.”

Marcel Rohner has been a Member of the Board of Directors and Board of Directors Committee of the SBA since 2018. Looking ahead to the handover of office, Herbert J. Scheidt commented: “Marcel has already been instrumental in repositioning the SBA. His approach is both inclusive and forward-looking. I am delighted that we have been able to appoint, from within our own ranks, a new Chairman with a proven track record that equips him so well for this challenging position. Safe in the knowledge that I can hand over to Marcel, I believe that this year’s Bankers Day is the best moment for me to do so.”

Boris Collardi, Partner at Pictet & Cie and Member of the Board of Directors Committee and Nomination Committee, added: “Marcel has vast experience of our banks’ various business models, and an extensive network of contacts in every region of Switzerland as well as substantial international experience. He is therefore exceptionally well qualified for the office of Chairman.”

Herbert J. Scheidt has been active in the banking industry for almost 40 years. He began his career with Deutsche Bank, working in Germany, the US, Italy and, most recently, Switzerland. He has been closely involved with the financial centre for 25 years, initially as CEO of Deutsche Bank Switzerland before becoming CEO of Vontobel in 2002 and Chairman of the Vontobel Board of Directors in 2011. His association work dates back almost as far. Herbert J. Scheidt has been a Member of the SBA’s Board of Directors since 2011 and was elected its Chairman at Bankers Day 2016. He was also a Member of the Board of SIS Group from 2005 onwards and thus participated in setting up SIX Group, where he has been a Member of the Board of Directors since 2008.

Marcel Rohner has been Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors at Union Bancaire Privée (UBP SA) in Geneva since 2016, and has also served on the Board of Directors of Helvetische Bank since 2012. Prior to that, between 2002 and 2009, he held various positions at UBS AG, including as a Member of the Group Executive Board and CEO. He began his banking career in 1992 at Union Bank of Switzerland. Marcel Rohner has 30 years’ experience in all areas of the banking business both in Switzerland and internationally. 

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