A Fine Line Between Pictet And The Bahamas

A Fine Line Between Pictet And The Bahamas


The development of Pictet Bank & Trust Limited in The Bahamas closely mirrors the development of the modern Bahamas itself. When the Bank opened its offices in downtown Nassau in 1978, The Bahamas was only five years into its independence and a very different place than today. Charlotte House, where the Bank was initially located, and its next door neighbour, Shirley House, were seen as plush, high-rise office complexes that, at that time, housed some of Nassau’s best banks, accounting and law firms. It was a time when electronic mail consisted of a telegram sent through the local telecommunications company. Cell phones, laptop computers, and the world-wide web were inventions of the future. A well-equipped office consisted of a telex machine, a landline telephone, and a photocopier and if you were truly cutting edge you also had a monochrome monitor which had a black screen and green writing.

Almost everything from the Bank’s accounting system to its calculation of currencies was archaic and largely manual.  There were only four staff then; but they believed firmly in the vision that the Pictet Group had for its expansion into the Americas and were convinced that The Bahamas was the right place to establish the Pictet Group’s first Bank outside of Europe.

Things have certainly changed a lot since 1978 and not only has the Bank survived, but it has expanded against many odds. During the past forty years, it has prospered through several market crashes, the sub-prime crisis, banking failures, OECD pressures against The Bahamas, and recessions. Economic turmoil has led to radical legislation across Europe and the United States of America.

However, with more than two hundred years of proven expertise behind it, the Bank continues to adapt and weather the storms that threaten the international financial services community.

According to Alberto Valenzuela, an Equity Partner of the Pictet Group and the Chief Executive Officer of Pictet Bank & Trust Limited, “Although we cannot be certain of what lies ahead I am certain that we will continue to face the challenges as we have done in the past - with determination, fortitude and resilience.”

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