Bellevue Group defies difficult market environment

2/27/2012, 7:00 AM (Source: GlobeNewswire)
Bellevue Group AG /
Bellevue Group defies difficult market environment
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* Bank am Bellevue reports positive operating income (CHF 3.6 million)
* Focusing of Asset Management and efficiency improvement under way
* Distribution of CHF 2.13 (free of Swiss withholding tax) and dividend of CHF
1.20 proposed per registered share
* Urs Baumann appointed new CEO of Bellevue Group

Bellevue Group closed the past year with a loss of CHF 64.7 million. The group
operating loss amounts to CHF 2.0 million. Despite tough market conditions with
low trading volumes, Bank am Bellevue recorded positive operating income of CHF
3.6 million. Owing to the goodwill write-downs and additional amortisations of
intangible assets carried out in mid-2011, the net loss stands at CHF 27.0
million. Bellevue Asset Management posted an operating loss of CHF 2.0 million
and a net loss of CHF 31.5 million. At the annual general meeting on 19 March
2012 the Board of Directors will propose a cash distribution of CHF 2.13 (free
of withholding tax) in the form of a repayment of reserves from capital
contributions and a dividend of CHF 1.20 per registered share.

Bellevue Group still has sound liquid assets and a solid equity base (tier 1
ratio: 26%, previous year: 48%), still significantly in excess of regulatory
requirements. The distribution from retained earnings further optimises the
capital situation and returns funds not required for business purposes to the

In 2011 Bellevue Group recorded total operating income of CHF 40.1 million
(previous year: CHF 53.6 million), a decline of 25%. Further cost optimisation
resulted in a CHF 4.0 million reduction in personnel expenses to CHF 25.7
million, while operating expenses declined from CHF 19.3 million to CHF 16.4
million. As at 31 December 2011 Bellevue Group had 85 employees on a full-time
equivalent basis (previous year: 97).

Bank am Bellevue
Despite a marked decline in commissions from brokerage and corporate finance,
the most important revenue source (CHF 20.4 million, -26% compared to the
previous year), Bank am Bellevue achieved an operating profit of CHF 3.6 million
in a difficult market environment. The focus during the reporting period was on
systematic optimisation of the service offering, expanding the brokerage client
base, and improving the effectiveness of internal work processes and risk

Bank am Bellevue posted operating income of CHF 22.9 million in 2011 (previous
year: CHF 33.4 million, -31%). The further decline in income was due to low
trading volumes on the exchanges and pressure on margins. Personnel expenses
fell by 13% in 2011, to CHF 11.8 million (previous year: CHF 13.6 million), and
there was also a reduction in operating expenses, to CHF 7.6 million (previous
year: CHF 9.8 million).

Amortisation of intangible assets amounting to CHF 1.2 million together with
write-downs of goodwill amounting to CHF 29.0 million resulted in a loss of CHF
27.0 million (previous year: profit of CHF 7.1 million).

Bellevue Asset Management
Bellevue Asset Management pushed ahead with the strategic reorientation launched
three years ago. The health care segment has been focused, while the regional
niche strategies and innovative investment strategies in the area of owner-run
companies are developing well. Investment performance proved solid overall, and
the new client network is making encouraging progress, but the weakness of the
financial markets impacted results. Operating income declined to CHF 17.1
million in 2011 (previous year: CHF 19.0 million). Further optimisation of costs
from the third quarter onwards enabled a positive operating result to be
achieved in the last three months of the year. Personnel costs were reduced by
8% in the reporting period, to CHF 12.6 million, while operating expenses fell
by 7% to CHF 6.4 million. The operating loss for the full year stands at CHF
2.0 million.

The ongoing disruption to the markets led to a loss of CHF 9.3 million in 2011
(previous year: profit of CHF 1.1 million) on investments in own products. These
have since been sharply reduced, lowering the risk of future investment losses.

Amortisation of intangible assets amounting to CHF 2.6 million together with
write-downs of goodwill amounting to CHF 18.0 million resulted in a loss of CHF
31.5 million (previous year: loss of CHF 2.3 million).

Assets under management
There was a further significant decline in assets under management: as at 31
December 2011, Bellevue Group had assets of CHF 3.6 billion under its management
(before double counting) compared with CHF 4.6 billion at the end of the
previous year.

Martin Bisang hands over the reins to Urs Baumann
As part of a generational change that has been planned for some time, Urs
Baumann is taking over from Martin Bisang as CEO of Bellevue Group. A former CEO
of Swisscard with many years of international experience building and expanding
financial services companies, Urs Baumann is ideally qualified for this task. He
takes up his new post as CEO on 1 March 2012.

Daniel Schlatter, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bellevue Group,
will not be standing for re-election.

As founder members of Bellevue Group, Martin Bisang and Daniel Schlatter have
played a crucial role in its development and success. The Board of Directors
wishes to thank Martin Bisang and Daniel Schlatter for their outstanding
accomplishments and entrepreneurial commitment.

Martin Bisang commented: "The appointment of Urs Baumann adds an experienced
sector expert to our ranks. I am pleased that we have been able to complete the
planned change of generations today, and I look forward to remaining a client
and shareholder of Bellevue Group."

Oriented to the future
Asset Management now has a scalable platform that will enable it to increase
recurrent income. Bank am Bellevue and Bellevue Asset Management have made
significant investments in optimising their service offering and processes,
thereby ensuring the successful continuation of their activities.

"Thanks to the measures introduced, Bellevue Group is well placed to grasp
opportunities when they arise. We view the major changes in the financial
industry as an opportunity for targeted growth in our established areas of
business," stated Urs Baumann.

The annual results media conference is being held at 9.30 a.m. today at the SIX
Swiss Exchange ConventionPoint (Selnaustrasse 30, 8021 Zurich).

Agenda 2012:
Monday, 19 March 2012, annual general meeting 2012

Friday, 27 July 2012, half-year report 2012

The full version of the financial report is available at

For further information:
Media/Investor Relations: Daniel Koller, CFO
Tel. +41 44 267 67 00, fax +41 44 267 67 01,

Bellevue Group
Bellevue Group is an independent Swiss financial group domiciled in Küsnacht.
The parent company, Bellevue Group AG, is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange.

Bank am Bellevue is a provider of research and brokerage services in Swiss
equities and selected international stocks as well as corporate finance

Bellevue Asset Management manages specialised investment products. It focuses on
equity investments in selected sector and regional strategies and provides
selected institutional asset management services.

Urs Daniel Baumann

Bellevue Group, Chief Executive Officer

Nationality: Swiss

Date of birth: 12 March 1967

As of 1 March, 2012, Urs Daniel Baumann is appointed Chief Executive Officer
(CEO) of Bellevue Group. He has over 14 years of international management
experience as Group CEO, CEO and managing director of leading global, regional
and Swiss financial institutions. Furthermore, he worked as consultant and
manager with a top-rated global management consulting firm for more than 5
years. Urs Daniel Baumann holds a Master in Economics & Business Administration
of the University of St. Gallen (HSG) as well as a MBA of the University of

Former professional experience at Lindorff Group in Oslo (2007 - 2010 Group
CEO), Barclays Bank PLC in London (2006 - 2007 Managing Director Central &
Eastern Europe - Barclaycard), Swisscard in Horgen (1998 - 2005 CEO), McKinsey &
Company in Zurich (1993 - 1998 Engagement Manager), and Comtec Baumann & Bieri
in St. Gallen (1988 - 1992 Managing Partner and Owner).

Urs Daniel Baumann is also the founder and member of the Board of Directors of
the Baumann Group in Zurich, which invests in and develops mid-sized companies.
Urs Daniel Baumann is furthermore member of the Board of Directors of the Swiss
Asia Banking School and supports Plan International Schweiz (www.plan- as a member of the Entrepreneur Council.

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Bellevue Group AG
Seestrasse 16; Postfach Küsnacht/Zürich Switzerland

WKN: A0LG3Z;ISIN: CH0028422100;

Bellevue Group Press Release (PDF):

Image Portrait Urs Baumann:

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