Translation from the French:
Ex-President of Novartis Daniel Vasella leaves Switzerland for the USA
Released from his functions by Novartis [big pharma firm], the former President Daniel Vasella has apparently announced his departure from his township in Zug to move to the US, Sonntagsblick announces.
Daniel Vasella has announced his departure from the township of Risch in the Canton of Zug, states Sonntagsblick. According to the Swiss German Sunday paper, the former head of Novartis has already emigrated to the US.
This American choice appears logical for Vasella, graduate of Harvard University, who sits on the board of the University of Boston.
Fingered by the whole country.
This announcement comes after the controversy related to his golden parachute of 72 million francs. Although he finally declined it, the amount has tarnished the image of Daniel Vasella in Switzerland, with the population as well as with other bosses [in the Swiss economy], who blame him for the acceptation by the people of the Minder Initiative against high salaries.
From what I have read, the Minder Initiative (http://www.remunerationsabusives.ch/) which won a popular vote last Sunday does not actually cap salaries per se, but ensures better oversight by stockholder representation over remuneration and severance packages, and seeks to impede inappropriate remuneration that does not correspond to performance.
However I wonder if Vasella’s emigration to the US might have something to do with a desire to avoid dealing with FATCA for which the Swiss IGA was signed on 14 February (but not yet confirmed by Parliament)? Does Vasella have a green card? I would suspect that a man of his means would have had the army of lawyers and accountants at his disposal to stay compliant without wasting LCUs, and doesn’t have to worry about forking over an extra 2-10k per year or even much more, depending upon the specific incompatibilities the US Person faces between his local tax jurisdiction and the US, for compliance costs and double tax as would cripple many middle class USPs. Six figure additional tax and compliance cost for him wouldn’t have prevented him from paying for a family vacation, children’s education, or continuing professional education for himself. He can throw money at the problem. Middle class people cannot, they have to make serious life choices like doing without things that they have worked hard to be able to do, or renouncing, relinquishing, or just disappearing into the gray/black markets.
More information on Vasella: he is appearantly Swiss, born in Fribourg in the 50′s and is a medical doctor: Wikipedia Article on Vasella
If he doesn’t have a green card, and perhaps does not yet know the full details of FATCA, boy is he going to plunge into a gravity well!!! Hope you like it in the US, Vasella, you’re going to have to stay there, or lose your shirt trying to re-extricate yourself. Just wait, as soon as the UBS or whomever you are banking with in Switzerland figures out that you have moved, they’ll close your bank account. Of course with Obamacare you won’t be needing to exersize your right to subscribe to basic Swiss health insurance from abroad, and you probably are rich enough not to need Swiss disability payments either. So maybe you won’t need the account. But what about any property you might still have in Switzerland???
Perhaps Vasella, though abandoning us here in Switzerland, would do us some service and use his obvious clout as a board member of the University of Boston to spread the word about the whole story on FATCA, FBAR, Double Taxation. If he refused an excessive golden parachute, maybe he has some moral fiber to stand up for what is right.