In a move making it one of the biggest, if not biggest, standalone wealth managers, Switzerlands Julius Baer announced today it has agreed to buy the non-US wealth business of Bank of America Merrill Lynch
In a move making it one of the biggest, if not biggest, standalone wealth managers, Switzerland’s Julius Baer announced today it has agreed to buy the non-US wealth business of Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The deal boosts assets under management by up to 40 per cent to SFr251 billion (around $256 billion) for a price of around SFr860 million.
Julius Baer had announced back in June that it was in talks with the US banking and wealth management firm to buy the unit; other banks that had been speculated upon as potential suitors included Royal Bank of Canada.
The deal, if approved by regulators and shareholders, means Julius Baer acquires SFr81 billion of assets under management (based on 30 June figures) and more than 2,000 employees, including over 500 financial advisors.
Such an acquisition is one of the biggest such transactions in recent years. Although industry surveys frequently state that the sector will see more consolidation as a result of rising costs and pressures on margins, big M&A deals in the wealth sector have, in fact, been relatively infrequent. Some analysts, such as Christopher Wheeler at Italy’s Mediobanca, had noted that BoA Merrill Lynch had not managed to achieve critical mass in wealth management outside its important domestic US market.
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