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HSBC to move into new office complex at Geneva airport

Posted on 14 March 2009 by Mr Bureau

In Geneva, HSBC will be moving over 1000 of its employees to a new business center in Blandonnet near the Geneva Cointrin Airport, a new office complex which is expected to become an important concentration of jobs in the canton of Geneva.

Already several top brand name companies have set up offices there, among them Ralph Lauren, IBM, L’Oréal, and the TCS. HSBC will begin the big move next year. HSBC will thus be regrouping a total of 1300 jobs in the new complex. HSBC employs more than 2000 staff in Switzerland, of which approximately 1550 are located in Geneva.

One of the directors of HSBC Switzerland, Claude Brodard, remarked that every year, HSBC Switzerland has added between 150 and 200 new professional jobs. In 2008, which was a bad year for most, HSBC Switzerland grew by 17% over 2007.

HSBC Bank Switzerland to move in 2010Currently HSBC is spread out over 12 different sites in Geneva: there are 530 employees in the offices on rue de Lausanne, 210 more in the HSBC building on rue Montbrillant, 160 additional employees in the stately offices on quai General Guisan which look out over the lake, another 160 jobs are in the rue des Noirettes complex which also houses UBS, still another 140 jobs are located in the premises on quai Wilson on the Eaux Vives side of the lake, 130 workers are in other ‘main offices’ at rue Alfred Vincent, and finally another 300 employees are dispersed over offices at rue de la Synagogue, place Longemalle, quai Mont Blanc, rue du Rhone, and rue de la Navigation.

Pictet Bank had a similar problem years ago, which it solved by building a huge office complex in Acacias. Mirabaud also consolidated, regrouping all its jobs in one premises one Plainpalais.

Evidently, HSBC’s decision to move over a 1000 jobs to the new Blandonnet center near the airport has overjoyed the developers RI Realim, who had considerable difficulties filling it. The 30,000 square meter center is now headquarters for companies like Gillete, Procter & Gamble, Verisign, Bacardi, and some NGO’s.

The third building of the center – the one in which HSBC will move – has not yet been completed. Already 75% rented by its agent SPG Intercity, the new building housing HSBC will also be home to L’Oréal, which is regrouping 200 jobs there. Transocean – the American oil drilling firm—will be settling its career professional in the same building.

The new office center will house a total of 4500 workers, meaning Blandonnet will extend over more than 85,000 square meters. The center is putatively equipped with high tech cabling infrastructure, as well as modern central heating and ventilation, which means windows that don’t open.

Apparently HSBC HQ in London carefully studied the proposal, worried over the proximity of the huge oil storage drums nearby, one of which exploded in 2005, but they concluded that there was no danger. Beginning in mid 2010, HSBC’s staff will move to the new premises, which can accommodate up to 1270 employees. The Bank is said to have paid between CHF 500-600 the square meter for the new office space, which means a yearly rental price of roughly CHF 10 million, a lot of money for offices with windows you can’t open. The Bank expects to economize at least 10% in comparison with current costs attendant on 12 dispersed office locations.

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Geneva has disproportionate numbers of jobs in Switzerland

Posted on 14 October 2008 by ThomasP

The canton of Geneva occupies 0.6% of the surface area of Switzerland but employs roughly 8% of the salaried Work force in Switzerland and is responsible for a gross product of roughly $ 35 billion, roughly 8% of the Swiss GDP.

As to jobs, Geneva has practically a world record with approximately 2 jobs for three inhabitants (For a total population of about 450,000 there are 297,000 Jobs in Geneva). There are also roughly 75,000 cross border workers who work in Switzerland but live in neighboring France or Germany or Italy.

According to the Geneva Cantonal Bank’s statistics, the average salary in Geneva has continued to rise. During the 90’s, Geneva salaries were less than those in Zurich. However salaries in Geneva have now outstripped salaries in Zurich, with the average salary in Geneva now roughly CHF 6350, approximately 15% higher than the Swiss average, and about CHF 100 higher than Zurich’s average. The high average salaries for jobs in Geneva is largely explainable by the Jobs in Geneva Switzerland

high proportion of jobs in private banks, jobs in trading companies, and jobs in the financial services industries, all of which pull the salary statistics higher. Roughly 10% of workers in Geneva have salaries higher than CHF 12,400 per month.

Geneva is also the canton with the most glaring discrepancies between high salaries and low salaries.

In Geneva 85% of the small and medium size companies employ fewer than 10 persons. But over a third of the corporate landscape in Geneva (measured by number of jobs) is large multinational companies. Among the large employers of Geneva are the banks – UBS, Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas, HSBC, Pictet, Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch, Deutsche Bank,… – and then there are the luxury brands, and other multinationals, such as Rolex (4000 jobs), Proctor and Gamble (2500 jobs), Firmenich (1600 jobs), The Richemont Group (1400 jobs), Patek Philippe (1200 jobs), Merck Serono (1000 jobs), Givaudan (800 jobs), Chopard (700 jobs), Japan Tobacco (600 jobs), Franck Muller(600 jobs) and Du Pont(600 jobs).

The luxury watch industry alone brings in over $1 billion in annual revue to the canton of Geneva.

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New Masters Program in Trading Started — Financial Jobs in Switzerland

Posted on 21 September 2008 by ThomasP

Switzerland – particularly Geneva and Zug – remains a center of trading activity in both raw materials and finished goods, providing a large number of jobs to professionals involved with dealing, brokerage and trading..

In order to satisfy the incessant demand for experienced traders needed by local companies, the University of Geneva has created a
Masters Program in Trading, which starts this October. The Masters in Trading concentrates on trade finance, international trade, and commodities and raw materials trading. The University will be offering as well three other masters programs oriented to other business needs among employers in Switzerland.

The Economics faculty of the University of Geneva explains that Geneva is essentially a trading city. There are over 150 companies
And 6000 professionals working in the domain of trading. The strong concentration of companies involved with trading activities contrasts remarkably with the lack of local opportunities for professional training

in the key disciplines that are central to these companies’ employment requirements.

According the University of Geneva faculty, only Paris, London and the East coast American universities offer this type of curriculum.

The Masters program beginning in October will begin with 16 students (chosen from roughly 50) and will last 3 semesters and alternate between coursework and practical work experience in local trading companies. The student will spend 50% – 70% of his time interning in job in a company and about 40% – 50% in coursework at the University.

The students in the program are all paid for their internships time, thanks to the help of Geneva Trading and Shipping Association.

There is no prerequisite requirement to have experience in the trading field or to have a bachelors degree in economics to enroll: students coming right out of the Arts and Letters faculty are admitted as well.

Across Switzerland there are hundreds of large companies working with financial underwriting or with trading. Jobs in Switzerland in the banking, finance and trading sectors are numerous and professionals with these skills are in high demand.

The University is also simultaneously launching other experimental degree programs, such as the interdisciplinary ‘Life’ Law Studies Program, which will focus on such legal issues as organ donor ship, genetic analyses, medically assisted procreation, and stem cell research. The training will start with intellectual property issues surrounding living organisms, and genetically modified organisms, the contracts for technology transfer of technology. This Masters program, is designed to lead to employment in the fields of health or intellectual property. The Geneva and lake Geneva region is home to quite a few important biotech companies and pharmaceutical companies.

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Living in France, Italy, or Germany, but Working in Switzerland

Posted on 15 August 2008 by Hans-T

The workforce of commuting workers who live in neighboring France, Germany, Italy, or Austria but work in Switzerland has grown by nearly 30% over the past 5 years.

There are currently nearly 250,000 foreigners working in Switzerland and living across the border in one of Switizerland’s neighboring countries.

In only the past year, the number of border workers with jobs in Switzerland has risen roughly 6%. Foreigners working in Switzerland but living across the border are hold ‘G’ permits to work in Switzerland.

According to the Federal Office of Statistics, the majority of these workers hold jobs in industry, though a sizable portion occupy jobs in banking or jobs in the luxury watch industry.

The strongest rise in workers living in neighboring countries and commuting to jobs in Switzerland was in the region around lake

Geneva, which rose nearly 60%, followed by the region around Zurich, which rose by 35%. In Ticino, the rise was nearly 30%.

The country distribution of these foreign workers has not changed appreciably in the five year period. Well over half live in France, with approximately 20% living in Italy, another 20% in Germany, and the remainder in Austria.

Foreigners who live in neighboring countries but commute to jobs in Switzerland hold ‘G’ permits. Any citizens from the European Community have a right to such a permit.

The number of such workers in Switzerland has shown a particularly steep rise (+40% from 2003-2008) in the tertiary sector, with the chemical industry showing strong increases (+20%) and medical instruments and precision optics and luxury watchmaking showing increases of roughly 20%.

Europeans also have the right to exercise an independent activity – that is, to be self-employed– in Switzerland. Geneva currently has approximately 500 self-employed professionals who live in Neighboring France. There are somewhere on the order of 100o non-resident independents working at jobs in Switzerland.

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Proctor and Gamble – Major Geneva Employer

Posted on 29 May 2008 by Heidi

Proctor and Gamble has risen to become the 3rd largest employer in the canton of Geneva, responsible for more jobs in Geneva than any other company, except Migros and UBS. Specializing in beauty products, a sector showing strong growth over the past several years, Proctor and Gamble is a major actor offering work in Switzerland in the corporate world.

Last April in Geneva they had a recruitment event at their innovation center in Petit Lancy, where the manager of the Lacoste brand welcomed graduating students from across Europe and subjected them to a recruitment workshop in which they had to prove themselves by imagining a new ad campaign for the Brand to stimulate sales. The students were given the advice to take account of the diversity of the product line (casual T-shirts, dress shirts, perfumes,…) and to also consider how competing brands situate themselves –such as Armani or Calvin Klein — and were a set loose for the day with the admonition to be creative and generate enthusiasm.

Proctor and Gambles also owns beauty products brands like Lacoste

Divided into roughly 15 groups, the students compete for the entire day, through their proposals and ideas, for the attention of Proctor and Gamble’s recruiters. The workshop/recruitment trial is also promoted as a means for students to get a close-up look at the Proctor and Gamble corporate environment and have an idea of their work in Geneva should they join the company.

The second day of the 2-day event, the students are individually interviewed and the Recruiting Director gives out scores for the two-day trial. Our of 420 candidates who applied for the event, 100 were invited and 20 will receive an offer of employment to work in Geneva at the Proctor and Gamble offices, the headquarters for the beauty products line.

When Proctor and Gamble opened its doors in Geneva in 1999, they started with 250 employees. There are currently, less than 10 years later, more than 2500.

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Work in Geneva in the Financial Sector – Job Offers

Posted on 13 March 2008 by info

Finding work in Switzerland in the financial sector continues to be largely a question of choosing from among numerous offers in banking, finance, and insurance. The Swiss financial and banking sectors, as well as the insurance sector, continue to register record demand for top talent and qualified professionals.

Currently, CREDIT AGRICOLE is seeking to recruit a senior specialist in Raw Materials Financial Transaction to work in Geneva in support of their specialized clientele for energy trading, manage a small team, and build a portfolio of clients. The candidate should have a university degree and around 10 years of experience in international trading acquired in specialized institutions; an excellent knowledge of French is required, as is English and Russian. Interested persons should send their applications or inquiries to Direction des Ressources Humaines, / JP, CREDIT AGRICOLE (SUISSE) S.A., Case Postale 5260, 1211 Geneva 11, Switzerland. More information about the position is on their website at

Credit Agricole in Geneva

The proportion of work in Switzerland that is in the financial sector remains currently very high. LODH Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch & Cie is seeking to recruit a Specialist in Equity and Coupon Operations to work in Geneva in its department of Banking Operations. The new team member will treat equity and dividend payment operations, interest payments and reimbursements relating to the LODH group.

The professional who is engaged for this role will follow the reconciliation of transactions with LODH’s depositors and counterparty lenders. The person will also establish reportings in relation with the European taxation and will maintain contact with the Bank’s managers and traders. The person sought will have a business background (Ecole de Commerce, or CFC) and 3 – 5 years of banking experience in the domain of coupon payment; knowledge of European and American financial environments; mastery of French, English, and German is a plus. Interested candidates can apply through the website at http://

HSBC Private Bank is seeking to recruit a Premises Manager to work in Geneva and create and maintain a property strategy; acquire new surplus property on the best terms; minimize the ongoing cost of occupying property by negotiating rental commitments; ensuring the building fabric maintains asset value and a quality internal environment; ensure property revenue and capital budgets are controlled; contribute to global property issues affecting the Bank’s worldwide portfolio; and manage the regional/country portfolio in compliance with standards. The role requires someone who is a qualified general practice surveyor of minimum RICS standard with at least 5 years PQE or 10 years experience PQE for large businesses; experience with a broad range of property expertise; demonstrated strategic thinking; proven leadership with ability to motivate personnel and externals; good financial acumen; strong interpersonal skills. Interested candidates can apply to HSBC Private Bank, Quai Wilson 37, P.O. Box 3580, 1211 Geneva 3, Switzerland. The email is

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The Glorious Era of SGS

Posted on 13 February 2008 by Mr Bureau

In 2007, the Geneva-based multinational broke all earnings records, capping 7 years of growth and bumper years.

SGS is the number one player on the global market for inspection services and certification. Many of SGS’s clients are governments. Others are trading companies, banks and insurers.

The CEO of SGS, Chris Kirk, recently shared his thoughts with the media.

SGS had one of its best earnings years in 2007 and currently employs over 50,000 workers worldwide. Sales figures at SGS for 2007 were roughly $ 4 billion, with a net profit of about $500 million.

SGS expects continued growth, with as much as a 10% rise in their current sales figures for 2008. With the expectation of a recession in the US and its repercussions on global markets, Kirk noted that it was difficult to predict how 2008 would turn out.

Société Générale de Surveillance - SGS - Geneva

SGS has very strong liquidity and is therefore positioned to take

advantage of opportunities for acquisitions as they present themselves in a falling market. SGS is particularly on the lookout for opportunities in geophysics, mineral extraction, oil and gas, and raw materials.

Headquarters of SGS - GenevaThe management of SGS sees their profit per share attaining CHF 80. The management’s goal is to reach a profit of CHF 105 per share by 2011. SGS currently trades in the range of CHF 1400 – CHF 1450 per share.

SGS (as well as its smaller rival Cotecna Inspection) is one of Geneva’s largest employers. At this time, SGS Société Générale de Surveillance is currently seeking to recruit for Geneva:
a Junior Business Analyst for Geneva,
a Web Developer / Web Master
an International Legal Counsel
an intern Business Development Assistant
an apprentice “Apprentissage de Commerce”
and for Zurich:
a Consumer Testing Services (CTS) Manager.
SGS is also seeking to recruit two international positions – an Ivory Coast Automotive Manager for the Ivory Coast, and an Operations Manager, Forestry Monitoring Project for Liberia. Interested parties can write to departement des ressources humaines, SGS, Place des Alpes 1, 1211 Geneva 1 or go to their website at

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New Criminal Investigations of WIPO

Posted on 28 December 2007 by Gaffer

Still another criminal complaint has been filed against the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) as a new scandal breaks over the international organization which forms an important part of the United Nations landscape in Geneva and employs over a thousand staff.

A while back (see our archives) the Organization suffered a scandal over its Director —Kamil Idriss— who was belatedly discovered to have exercised excessive creativity in his curriculum vitae and was forced to discretely retire.

Now Mr. Idriss’ colleagues are in prosecutor’s crosshairs concerning strange paractices in the medical service of the Organization.

The Geneva public prosecutor has been called in concerning a criminal complaint for “fraud, swindling, accomplice to fraud, falsifying documents, falsification of medical certificates” and a raft of other charges. The complaints target the chief of the medical service at Jobs at WIPO in Geneva to disappear

WIPO, a certain Doctor N., a physiotherapist (Madame S.) and the Belgian insurance company Vanbreda.

The plaintiffs have accused the Organization of a series of abuses tolerated and sometimes even encouraged by WIPO’s director. The plaintiffs have cited cases of persons who were never part of WIPO but who were able to obtain health care benefits and reimbursements thanks to Dr. N. A member of the Soudanese mission was thusly able to fraudulently receive health benefits by using the insurance number of an ex-employee (the ex-Director General of WIPO, Kamil Idriss, is Soudanese).

This practice has apparently been frequent, in view of the multiplicity and diversity of testimony.

The investigations and prosecutions will notably have to examine as Corruption at WIPO Geneva

well an alleged traffic in medicines and false prescriptions, as well as phony invoices. Plaintiffs discovered large quantities of products were ordered by an intermediary for the Medical Service of WIPO, without anyone’s knowing the final destination for the pharmaceuticals. In less polite circles, the term ‘drug trafficking’ tends to be employed.

Reached by phone recently, the chief of the Medical Service at WIPO claimed to be unaware of any complaint lodged against him or his service. He further claimed to the victim of bad rumors. “I have nothing to hide,” he added. “We doctors, we have an ethic and procedures. It’s very serious to make such allegations.” He went to add that he was extremely shocked to hear such unfounded accusations.

In their complaint, the WIPO employees repeat that N., who was previously working in Ferney-Voltaire (a French town bordering Geneva), was expelled from the local medical association for lapses in medical ethics, just before being fortuitously hired by WIPO’s then director Kamil Idriss.

In July, PWC noted other problems in a systemic audit of the organization, among them staff abuse of “flextime,” promotions and post reclassification based on length of service rather than merit, and the prevalence of managers who are not competent. WIPO employs over 1000 staff and has an attractive tower in downtown Geneva with a superb view of the lake and a top-floor restaurant. Job vacancies are routinely posted to their website at

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