History of Pictet

On 23 July 1805, two young bankers both aged under 30, Jacob-Michel-François de Candolle and Jacques-Henry Mallet, signed a partnership deed in Geneva, together with three limited partners. After changing its corporate name on several occasions, this partnership would eventually become Pictet & Cie.

The origins of Pictet in an animated account

Find out about the origins of the Pictet Group, and the historical context in 1805, when two young entrepreneurs joined forces to create a new form of independent financial partnership, later to be known as a ‘private bank’. Every story starts somewhere. Ours goes back over 200 years. Our values as well.

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The Pictet lion

The Pictet Group’s logo famously includes a ‘lion issant’, known affectionately as Leo. The lion first appeared in the early 17th century on the coat of arms of the Pictet family, rearing above the ramparts of the old city walls of Geneva – a symbol of strength, courage and defiance. The lion was adopted to become the symbol of the Pictet Group in 1955. It has since had four incarnations.

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Stories from the past

  • Edouard Pictet, first partner

    In 1841, when Edouard Pictet-Prevost (1813-1878) became a partner in the bank of De Candolle, Turrettini & Cie, which had been established in 1805, the name of Pictet was added to the company name of the business and has remained part of it to this day.

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  • Charles Pictet de Rochemont

    He negotiated the expansion of the Geneva territory at the Congresses of Paris, Vienna and Turin with a view to admitting Geneva to the Swiss Confederation. A statesman, a gentleman farmer and an officer, Charles Pictet de Rochemont was a liberal, independently-minded, upright and dynamic man.

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  • A small mystery solved

    How much was Pictet’s initial capital of 125,000 Geneva pounds (livres argent de Genève) worth in today’s money? And was it something to do with the British pound sterling?

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Philanthropic tradition

Pictet expresses its social responsibilities through a tradition of philanthropy that is rooted in the spirit of the Reformation. Over the years, Pictet’s partners have made contributions in the fields of medical research, culture, and social and humanitarian causes. Through our initiatives and supported projects, we aim to stimulate action on matters of sustainability, not only as they affect our clients and ourselves, but also the future generations who will inhabit this planet.

  • The Pictet Group Foundation

    The Pictet Group Charitable Foundation was created in 2009, with a view to formalising the approach to the charitable and philanthropic work supported by Pictet’s Partners over a number of years. After supporting a wide range of causes for more than 10 years, the Foundation evolved into the new Pictet Group Foundation which will continue and extend our philanthropic activities.

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  • The Collection Pictet

    Preserving and promoting art and artists is part of the long tradition of patronage that the Pictet’s Partners have cultivated from the Group’s very beginnings in 1805. In building the collection, Pictet was determined to remain close to its Swiss heritage, so the artists included all have a strong cultural link to Switzerland, irrespective of their place of origin.

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Original of the "scripte de société" which ratified the foundation of the bank De Candolle, Mallet & Cie which eventually became Pictet & Cie.

The Henokiens: The world’s oldest family-run business

Banque Pictet & Cie SA was admitted to the Henokiens Association in 2005 at the time of the Bank’s bicentenary. The Association brings together the world’s oldest family-run businesses. Continuity is synonymous with success for the Henokiens. Every year they meet to reflect on the unique nature of their long-standing businesses, on the new challenges facing them and on the evolutions of their markets and of the economy in general. Today the Henokiens number around 50 members, all of whom share two essential characteristics: longevity – they have been in business for at least 200 years – and ownership – they're still owned by the founders' descendants. The Henokiens was founded as an association with no commercial, industrial or financial aims. Based on values traditional to family businesses and set apart from multinationals, the Association seeks to place emphasis on partnership and sharing while at the same time offering moral, cultural and philosophical support to its members. The oldest member is Hotel Hoshi in Japan, founded in the 8th century by Garyo Hoshi and currently run by the 47th generation of the founding family.

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