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A grand old name of European private banking is finally laid to rest
04/07/2018 , John Evans, International Editor

The brand of Bankhaus Sal Oppenheim, one of the oldest names and at one point most prestigious in German private banking, has finally been extinguished.

Owner Deutsche Bank ordered the end of Sal Oppenheim’s active business operations in asset management and advisory services from the start of this month.

Private wealth clients will now be supported by Deutsche Bank Wealth Management while institutional asset management has been merged with Deutsche Asset Management International.

Deutsche Bank has “bundled the expertise of both companies” in the care and advice of sophisticated clients while at the same time providing them with the investment knowledge of a global universal bank, a statement said.

“We thank you very much for the loyalty and trust you have given us over the past years or even decades,” it read in a statement posted on the Oppenheim website.

But rivals have already raided the disappearing bank, which was founded in 1789 in Cologne.  Deutsche took it over in 2009.

Zurich-based private bank Vontobel has hired an entire team of Oppenheim relationship managers in Germany. Victor Lindner and Thomas Riecken are joining the Munich based Vontobel team of asset managers later this month.

Doris Lemke and Olaf Bauermeister, who are also switching from Oppenheim in Munich to Vontobel, will follow in October. At the same time, asset management expert Stella C. Streckwall has joined the Vontobel team from Oddo-BHF Bank in April.

This takes the Vontobel German team to a total of more than 20 relationship managers.

The writing has been on the wall for Oppenheim since 2016. Four senior managers were convicted of aggravated fraud which brought the bank down. In 2017, Deutsche moved to end its independent operations and integrate it into the parent.

The bank has been steadily broken up in recent years. German rival Hauck & Aufhäuser Privatbankiers  recently took over its Luxembourg unit and Oppenheim Asset Management Services.

Meanwhile, Vontobel has just completed the acquisition of Notenstein La Roche Privatbank, a deal first announced in May. Notenstein manages around CHF 16.5 billion through asset management and in business with external asset managers in Switzerland.

The full merger and the migration to Vontobel systems should be completed by the end of the third quarter of 2018. The acquisition is expected to contribute significantly to the profits of Vontobel Wealth Management from as early as 2019, the bank said.

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