Zurich-Orbital Gemeinschaft Bank (Z-OG) is an extraterritorial corporation under the management of the Corporate Court the largest financial institution and bank in the world, wholly owned by the members of the Corporate Court. Because of its importance, specifically due to the debts owed to it by the Big Ten, it is also the most influential. Each AAA megacorporation has an equal number of shares, and thus ownership, of the bank and the CEOs of those megacorps elect the members of the board of directors.
Zurich-Orbital was originally Global Financial Services, a Swiss financial corporation. By the 2020s, Global Financial had surpassed the World Bank as the leading lender to nations and megacorporations around the world, in part due the World Bank having loaned too much to countries unable to repay their loans—mostly former-Soviet Republic, "Fourth World" nations. Following the Crash of '29, Global Financial Services was able to survive even while many of its competitors (including the World Bank) collapsed.
The bank had returned to normal by 2032, but by this time the megacorps that made up the Corporate Court realized that they were so indebted to Global Financial Services (literally, owing them untold sums of lending capital) that were it to collapse for any reason, such as the Internet collapsing, that they would be unable to function. Later that year, the seven corporations pooled their resources and through legal maneuvers and black ops performed a hostile takeover of the bank which left them as the sole owners.
Realizing the precarious nature of having the bank owned by the AAAs, the then-Big Seven transferred control of the bank to the Corporate Court. In 2033, the Court moved the bank's operations to the Zurich-Orbital Habitat, and renamed it the Zurich-Orbital Gemeinschaft Bank. However, the bank still maintains a presence earthside. Unlike the Corporate Court, which has its terrestrial headquarters in Manhattan, Z-OG Bank Terrestrial Operations headquarters is in the old World Bank/IMF headquarters in Washington, FDC.
Z-OG serves primarily as a lender of financial capital to most corporations, including AA and AAA megacorporations. This is part of why it is so important, because it oversees much of the debt owed by its owners. Were it to be owned by any other shareholders (as Global Financial was before 2032), it would leave the Big Ten open to being influenced by whoever controlled the bank. Likewise, if the bank was ever to fail, it would create a serious blow to the megacorporations' ability to function without access to lending capital. In short, it would mean that the megacorps would not have access to cash with which to finance their operations and long-term capital investments.
Each member of the Corporate Court owns an equal share in the bank. With ten members currently on the Court, this means that each AAA megacorp owns 10% of the shares. Before the expansion of the Court with the addition of CATCo and Wuxing, each of the Big Eight owned 12.5% of the shares in Z-OG. When Wuxing took its seat on the Court, the existing eight owners of Z-OG each had to sell them 1.4% of the total shares. CATCo's arrival in 2060 forced the nine members to each sell 1.1% of the total shares to Lucien Cross's corporation as the newest AAA.
Board of Directors
There are nine members of the board of directors. A director may not serve more than one consecutive term on the board, which lasts for nine years. New members are elected every year, generally with one corp's seat being filled by another on a rotating basis. This is due to the fact that with ten members of the Corporate Court and nine seats, one corp gets left off each year. That corp receives the next open seat the following year, and so it goes. For example, Shiawase took the seat in 2062 that Ares Macrotechnology held, and thus leaving it without representation on the board for one year.
Each member is selected by a committee comprised of the CEOs of the AAA megacorporations from among their member corporations. The directors are paid by their home corporations during their time on the board. To prevent any temptation at financial impropriety, finding of such behavior is punished by death.
Board Members (as of 2061)
- Damian Abernathie, Saeder-Krupp
- William Gold, Novatech
- Izanami Fujiwara, MCT
- Vivian Lachman, Renraku
- Justin Neou, Aztechnology
- Sakehiso Noro, Yamatetsu
- Charles Safran, Wuxing
- Tracy Stewart, CATCo
- Xavier Talbot, Ares
Due to the rules for turnover, by 2070 none of these directors would be on the board.
Because there were fewer than nine member corps among the members of the Corporate Court from 2032 until 2059, when Wuxing joined the Court, one or more of the AAA megacorporations would have two or more employees sitting on the bank's board of directors. In fact, before the Court's expansion in the late 2050s and early 2060s, several corps might have multiple employees serving as directors while other corps were left out. In 2054 Saeder-Krupp, Ares Macrotechnology and Yamatetsu each had two employees serving as directors. Shiawase, Fuchi Industrial Electronics, and MCT each had one employee on the board. This left the bank's board of directors without direct representation from Renraku Computer Systems and Aztechnology.