Largest Swiss companies

Since Switzerland is the place where many large multinational companies decide to establish their headquarters, due to the favorable taxation system, it comes as no surprise that some of the leading companies in various industry sectors are present in Switzerland.

The Swiss business climate is very competitive, divers and flexible, which allows entrepreneurs to establish and develop their businesses, regardless if they’re small to medium – sized companies, company subsidiaries or holding companies. The Swiss legal system supports a wide variety of legal structures for those interested in doing business in Switzerland.

However, the most important players on the Swiss business scene should not be neglected, as their business strategies could easily apply to other companies as well.


Founded in 1886, the company has its headquarters in the Swiss canton of Vaud, one of the cantons with lower taxes. Nestle produces baby food, dairy products, cereals, confectionery and pet food.

Nestle currently has around 283,000 employees and factories and operations in almost every country in the world, with a market capitalization of more than 247 billion dollars.


Novartis is a global pharmaceutical company, located in Basel. The company was created in 1996, through the merger of Sandoz and Ciba – Geigy, having a history of more than 200 years in the industry. With a market capitalization of more than 270 billion dollars, Novartis produces generic and over – the – counter drugs, vaccines, contact lenses and other pharmaceutical products.


Established in 1862, with headquarters in Basel and Zurich, UBS is a global firm, providing a diverse range of financial services to corporate, private and institutional clients. The firm employs around 60,000 people, in offices located in over 50 countries. Asides form mortgages, credit cards and other basic financial services, the firm is also known for investment management and investment banking.

Zurich Insurance Group

The firm deals with life policies and other types of insurance policies since 1872. Located in Zurich, with a market capitalization of almost 52 billion dollars, the group also handles pensions and investment funds.


Coming strong behind Novartis, Roche follows the same pattern of a successful pharmaceutical company. It was established in 1869, its headquarters are in Basel and it boasts a market capitalization of more than 240 billion dollars.

Roche is the largest biotechnology company in the world, offering clinically differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and central nervous system disorders.

Glencore International

This Anglo – Swiss multinational company is specialized in mining and commodity trading. The consumer base includes several industry sectors: automotive, construction, power generation, steel, oil and even food processing. The company has its headquarters in Baar and a market capitalization of nearly 55 billion dollars.

Credit Suisse Group

Another company operating in the financial sector is Credit Suisse. Established in 1856, in Zurich, it is structured as a holding company that operates various financial services investments.

Swiss Re

Swiss Reinsurance Company, mostly known as Swiss Re is a reinsurance company that has it headquarters in Switzerland’s biggest financial hub, Zurich. The company is a wholesale provider of insurance, reinsurance and other insurance – based forms of risk transfer, dealing with corporate clients. Established in 1863, it’s the world’s second largest reinsures, with a market capitalization of almost 37 billion dollars.


Another company with its headquarters established in Zurich is ABB. Established in 1988, the company is recognized as a pioneering technology leader, that operates mainly in the power and automation technology field and in the robotics sector. ABB operates in more than 100 countries and employs approximately 135, 000 people with a market capitalization of more than 50 billion dollars.

ACE Limited

Another successful company operating in the insurance and reinsurance sector is ACE Limited. Founded “only” in 1985, it has a market capitalization of more than 36 billion dollars. Its headquarters are located in Zurich. The company operates in 54 countries, working with multinational corporations, local businesses or individuals.

In conclusion, some of the largest Swiss companies operate in the financial or insurance sectors, or in the pharmaceutical industry, however this doesn’t mean that there are not other business opportunities as well to incorporate in Switzerland. Most of all these successful companies started small, but having a solid business strategy and professional counseling is a first step into the right direction. 

Add new comment

To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Benefit from excellence now! Get in touch with our experts and enjoy our state-of-the-art corporate services, from company formation all the way to audit, accounting and taxation.

Request Price Request Call Back Free Case Evaluation