Ringier and bank zweiplus to set up joint venture

The media empire Ringier operating with the media brand 'cash' and bank zweiplus ag are establishing a joint venture company. The new company will operate under the established 'cash' brand as an innovative and unique provider of information and financial services.

The new company will offer independent online financial and economic information services and online banking and transaction services supported by personal savings, investment and pension advisory services. The main target group is clients with small to medium-sized asset portfolios. This venture will provide valuable additional and new services to the direct clients of bank zweiplus ag as well as the regular users of the economic and financial platform cash.ch. The existing clients of bank zweiplus will have access to an integrated and free information platform, while the cash.ch information platform will continue to be available to the same extent to its regular users without any additional obligations.

Marc Walder, CEO of Ringier Switzerland and Germany, says: “With this joint venture with the extremely well-positioned bank zweiplus ag, Ringier is betting its ‘cash’ brand on the tnsactionbased internet business.”

With the joint venture, bank zweiplus as a product and processing platform will in future focus exclusively on financial services providers, asset managers and insurance companies while it will operate its direct client business under the ‘cash’ brand.
The established and credible ‘cash’ brand evolved from the former CASH newspaper and cash daily as well as the stock exchange information platform Borsalino and is currently the largest Swiss platform for financial information. www.cash.ch not only provides the latest stock prices for all important markets but also offers highly professional search and analysis functions for investments funds, ETFs, warrants and structured products. The neutral editorial text and video contributions are also very popular with cash users and often lead to lively discussions in the cash community. The linking of these services with transaction services now completes the offer.

Ringier Ltd and bank zweiplus ag will each own 50 percent of the new company. The new company will start operating with more than 170,000 unique users of its financial information platform and more than 30,000 bank clients.

The CEO of the new company, Christoph Hartgens, is an acknowledged expert in this sector. Among other positions Christoph Hartgens also served as CEO of Tradejet AG. The other members of the Executive Board include André Michel, the current CEO of cash, Marcel Gamper, Head of Advisory Direct Clients at bank zweiplus, and Urban Scherrer, Business Consultant and Head of Special Projects at cash. “This management team combines a wealth of entrepreneurial experience in the banking, stock exchange and media segments,” says Alfred W. Moeckli, CEO of bank zweiplus and Chairmanelect of the Board of Directors of the new company.

The joint venture is subject to approval from the general regulatory, competition and tax authorities. If all required licences are received, implementation is planned for the beginning of 2012. The company, which will receive full processing support from bank zweiplus, will employ around 45 people from both parties. No dismissals are planned, as the business divisions supplement one another.

Ringier Corporate Communications