Wegelin & Co.

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wegelin & Co. private bankers, shareholders Bruderer, Hummler, Tolle & Co.

legal form Limited partnership ( private banker )
founding 1741
resolution 2013
Reason for dissolution Aid to tax evasion under US law
Seat St. Gallen , Switzerland
management 6 managing partners (January 27, 2012)
Number of employees 15 (February 2012)
Branch Banks
Website www.wegelin.ch

Wegelin & Co. , founded in 1741, was the oldest existing bank in Switzerland until it was effectively dissolved in 2012 . The St. Gallen- based company had around 700 employees in 2011 and managed client assets of over 24 billion Swiss francs . The bank had other locations in Zurich , Bern , Basel , Geneva , Lausanne , Locarno , Lugano , Chiasso , Schaffhausen , Winterthur , Chur and Lucerne . On January 27, 2012, the transfer of the non-US business to Notenstein Privatbank AG and its sale to Raiffeisen Switzerland was announced.


Emil Wegelin around 1880

The origin of today's bank dates back to March 1, 1741. Caspar Zyli (1717–1758) founded a sole proprietorship in St. Gallen called linen cloth trade and forwarding agent . The company should not only act as a freight forwarder, but also handle banking transactions. His son bought the Nothveststein building in 1798 , which was the bank's headquarters. In 1860 Emil Wegelin-Wild, Zyli's nephew, became a partner in the bank. Under him, the business began to focus on asset management . Eugénie de Montijo was one of the famous customers of the time . In 1893 the company was converted into a limited partnership . In 1909 the bank published its first investment commentary. Until the investment comment was discontinued, it was a highly regarded publication. In 1998, Wegelin & Co.'s entire company processes were certified according to ISO 9001.

Wegelin & Co. in St. Gallen

In 1990 the bank had around 30 employees. In the early 1990s, Konrad Hummler and Otto Bruderer joined as managing partners. The traditional company was subsequently geared towards modern portfolio management and financial theory. In 2011, the private bank had 700 employees at 13 locations: Wegelin & Co. opened a branch in Zurich in 1998, in Lugano in 2000, and others followed in Bern (2002), Lausanne (2004) and Schaffhausen (2005). At that time, the company had around 230 employees. The local presence was further expanded with branches in Basel, Geneva and Locarno (all 2007), Chur (2009), Lucerne (2010) and Winterthur (2011). The private bank worked closely with various universities.

At the beginning of 2012, the bank was targeted by the US judiciary in connection with the tax dispute between the US and the Swiss banks , although Wegelin & Co. had no branches in the US. The privately liable bankers saw the situation for their bank as so threatening that they split up the company on January 27, 2012. While the business with customers in the USA and citizens of the USA remained with Wegelin & Co, all other customers with around CHF 21 billion in customer money, the branches and all staff were transferred to Notenstein Privatbank , which was taken over by Raiffeisen Switzerland . In February 2012, Wegelin was charged by the US Department of Justice with aiding and abetting tax evasion.

Wegelin & Co. became the first foreign bank in the United States to plead guilty of aiding and abetting tax evasion on January 3, 2013, and accepted a fine of $ 74 million. Active banking was suspended in March 2013 after the settlement was upheld by a US judge.

Corporate structure

As a limited partnership , Wegelin & Co. was one of the few Swiss private banks whose managing partners have unlimited personal liability. The general partners with unlimited liability were (chronologically) Otto Bruderer, Konrad Hummler , Steffen Tolle, Michele Moor, Christian Raubach and Christian Hafner. The limited partners were five members of the bank's management and members of the Wegelin family.

After the transfer of the non-US business to Notenstein Privatbank AG and its sale to Raiffeisen Switzerland on January 27, 2012, the former partners Adrian Künzi and Magne Orgland left Wegelin and took up their positions at Notenstein Privatbank, Künzi as Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

For the purpose of liquidation, the company was converted into a stock corporation under the new name Wen AG on August 29, 2013 .


  1. The exchange rate from US dollars (USD) to euros (EUR) was 1.3069 in January 2013, resulting in EUR 56.6 million


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Entry in the commercial register of the Canton of St. Gallen , accessed on January 30, 2012.
  2. ^ Carlos Hanimann: 213 steps into the downfall. In: WOZ Die Wochenzeitung , February 2, 2012.
  3. Partner Konrad Hummler spoke of an "extremely difficult and existence-threatening situation"
  4. Raiffeisen takes over large parts of the private bank Wegelin & Co .. Risks and responsibilities USA remain with the previous shareholders. Media release of January 27, 2012 (PDF; 152 kB); ( Archive version ( memento from January 29, 2012 on WebCite )).
  5. USA are suing Wegelin bank for tax dispute. In: Swiss Television (SRF). February 3, 2012, accessed January 4, 2013 .
  6. ^ Bank Wegelin officially indicted in the USA. In: TagesWoche . February 3, 2012, accessed January 4, 2013 .
  7. USA increase pressure with Wegelin lawsuit. (PDF, 4018 kB) Retrieved January 4, 2013 .
  8. Christoph Eisenring: Bank Wegelin indicted by the USA. In: NZZ Online . February 3, 2012, archived from the original ; Retrieved January 4, 2013 .
  9. Peter Lattman: Swiss Bank Pleads Guilty to Tax Law Violations. In: New York Times (online edition). January 3, 2013, accessed on January 4, 2013 (English): "As part of guilty plea, Wegelin agreed to pay $ 74 million in fines, restitution and forfeiture proceeds to the United States government."
  10. Media release - Bank Wegelin: Proceedings in the USA have been concluded. (PDF; 70 kB) March 5, 2013, accessed on June 23, 2013 .
  11. Wegelin: Playing with fire. In: Schweizer Fernsehen , ECO from January 30, 2012
  12. Commercial Register - Registre du commerce - Registro di commercio / Mutationen - Mutations - Mutazioni. (PDF) August 29, 2013, accessed January 26, 2014 .

Coordinates: 47 ° 25 '35.1 "  N , 9 ° 22' 39.9"  E ; CH1903:  746,296  /  254655