Jim Armitage: It's not just charity that begins at home...

 

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Outlook Here’s a quaint introduction to corporate governance, Swiss style.

Edmond de Rothschild is the family-owned Swiss private bank chaired by Edmond’s 51-year-old son, Benjamin. A Frenchman, Benjamin lives in Switzerland where he keeps a very low profile, leaving day-to-day running to a chief executive. All very sensible.

In 2012, he hired a new chief executive, Christophe de Backer, whom he described as a man who “knows my family’s values and is deeply attached to them… My wife Ariane and I are overseeing this process with the utmost attention.”

Yesterday it emerges Mr de Backer is heading for the exit, with the group now requiring “renewed momentum”.

So, after presumably scouring the planet for the best chief executive he could find for his cherished clients, who did Benjamin choose? Why, his wife, the Baroness, of course. Thankfully, he concludes: “she has accepted.”

Don’t you just love a happy ending?

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