Geneva-based private bank UBP has found a buyer for its Swiss business with US clients. The assets under management will revert to an asset manager in Liechtenstein, finews.com has learned.
UBP Investment Advisors will soon be history. The Geneva-based private bank’s legal entity licensed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for Swiss offshore business with U.S. private clients is passing on the assets entrusted to it to Zurich-based asset manager Ameliora Wealth Management.
The two sides have agreed not to disclose the price of the deal for client assets totaling CHF 1 billion Swiss francs to be transferred. At the request of finews.com, both UBP and Ameliora confirmed the agreement, which was signed Tuesday, with the transaction expected to be completed by the end of September.
Not all employees come along
For Ameliora, headed by Laetitia Mantel, the purchase marks a major step forward. The asset manager was founded in 2012 by Liechtenstein-based financial services firms First Advisory Group and GN Group, specifically for business with clients having U.S. connections. Currently, the company manages around 400 million francs in assets with four employees.
The small staff is expected to increase to seven to eight people, but not all of the current nine employees will be taken over by UBP Investment Advisors. There was no comment on the head of the unit, Eva Kathrin Genovese-Delwing.
Ameliora continues to be open to opportunities among SEC-licensed Swiss asset managers. However, this is a costly niche market hardly experiencing any growth, particularly for larger players such as UBP, which has to operate its legal entity and report quarterly to the SEC. In recent years, the investment house Vontobel has carved out a clear position at the top through acquisitions. Still, more than 20 smaller asset managers are active in this market in Germany.
Ameliora is confident that it has the necessary scale to operate the business profitably. Thanks to its links with the two founding companies, it has the advantage over competitors of being able to offer complementary services such as asset structuring, succession planning, and tax advice from within the group.