SWITZERLAND - Bank Sarasin has recruited Burkhard Varnholt, head of financial products and the investment advisory team at Crédit Suisse Private Banking, as its new chief investment officer and asset management head.

Varnholt, 38, will take up his new position from September 1, 2007 at the latest. Until then, Sarasin chief executive Joachim Strähle will assume Varnholt's future responsibilities.

Sarasin said that in his new role, Varnholt would, in the area of product development, "further increase the innovation tempo".

"He will also implement a clear and unified investment strategy which will enable institutional and private clients to continue to have a consistently attractive performance," the Swiss bank added.

Born in Cologne, Varnholt joined Crédit Suisse in 1998 from Morgan Stanley in London where he was an investment banker.

In 2002, he was made head of financial products and the investment advisory team at Crédit Suisse's private banking arm. Since 2005, he also has sat on Crédit Suisse's global executive council.

"I'm delighted that we have recruited Burkhard Varnholt - a well-known expert with an excellent track record - as head of asset management," said Strähle.

"In the area of private banking, it is our goal to become the number one place for tailored investment solutions and independent product advice," he added.

Basel-based Sarasin is a specialist in socially-responsible investing with CHF73.3bn (€45.4bn) in assets under management.

Last week, the bank said its net profit after adjustments totalled CHF141m in 2006, up 22% from the previous year.    

In early January, Dutch co-operative Rabobank increased its stake in Sarasin to 46%, taking effective control of the Swiss bank.