Vontobel Holding AG

Though Bank Vontobel has a banking office on Zurich's prestigious Bahnhofstrasse, it's on a quiet side street several blocks away where I find the offices for the parent company, Vontobel Holding. Revenues of $430 million and $51 billion in assets under management makes it one of Switzerland's ten largest private banks. Vontobel is a listed company in which the Vontobel families, the Vontobel Foundation and management hold the majority of the capital and voting rights.

The six-story pink granite and blue-trimmed building sports no signage. Getting inside requires being buzzed in and just before I buzz the buzzer someone exits the building so I enter. There's no reception area. Eventually I find my way to Silvia Zahner, Assistant to CEO Robert Zingg, who gives me a warm reception and tour.

Built in 1992, the company has been here for a year and about 20 employees occupy three of the six floors. There's no cafeteria but a kitchen/break room area. There's no smoking in the offices, no corporate aircraft, senior management gets reserved parking spots and, no on-site recreational facilities though there are showers. Employee perks encompass the usual ones found at banks including discounts on home loans.

The accommodating Ms. Zahner walks me the several blocks to the banking office on the Bahnhofstrasse for a look at the boardroom. The square boardroom table seats 12, with a fake plant keeping it company.