SWITZERLAND - Walter Meier, head of Swiss venture capital firm BT&T Timelife, has been arrested in connection with the enquiry into an alleged corruption scandal at the Zürich Pensionskasse for civil servants.
BT&T confirmed that Meier, its founder and current head, had been arrested in connection with recent enquiries concerning the canton of Zürich's pension scheme (BVK), but it emphasised that both the company and Meier had "denied all allegations" against them.
No details of the "allegations" were provided, but it recently emerged that a member of the management team of the CHF23.5bn (€17bn) BVK - whom the public prosecutor confirmed to be "the head of asset management" - was arrested for alleged corruption. (see earlier IPE story: Head of Swiss BVK asset management team arrested for misconduct)
Neither BT&T nor the BVK provided any information regarding possible ties between the BVK and Meier.
BT&T began operations in 1995-96, focusing on investments in the new technology and Internet sector.
BT&T's losses during the bursting of the dotcom bubble in 2000 had a large impact on the Swiss Pensionskasse for the teachers of Bern, which had to "write off its total investments of CHF56.7m" completely, according to a parliamentary commission looking into various investment losses suffered by the pension fund. (see earlier IPE story: Swiss teachers fund BLVK rejects legal action)
Last year, BT&T was back in profit (CHF6.7m) after reporting a loss of CHF16m in 2008, with total funds under management of CHF31.3m, up from CHF4.1m.