The Bank of Italy has signed off the merger of Kairos Investment Management (Kairos) and Julius Baer Sim and officially begun the private banking partnership aimed at creating an Italian private bank that offers asset management and counseling services.

Kairos Partners SGR will be in charge of the asset management activities.

Swiss lender Julius Baer and Milan-based wealth manager Kairos Investment Management (Kairos) launched a combined unit in Italy that begun operating under the name Kairos Julius Baer SIM SpA as of 1 June 2013.

The completion of the transaction took place on 31 May 2013, and as part of the deal, Julius Baer acquired 19.9% of Kairos, after obtaining regulatory approvals.

Julius Baer signed a co-operation agreement with Kairos in November 2012 to create an onshore wealth management business in Italy. The expansion in Italy is part of the Julius Baer’s strategy to further grow and develop their business in Italy, the bank said, following joint ventures with Bank of China in July and Australian Macquarie group in October 2011 and Baer’s acquisition of Merrill Lynch’s international wealth management business.

Paolo Basilico, founding partner of Kairos, said: "I am excited to shape the future of ‘Kairos Julius Baer SIM’, with the clear goal to become a major force in the Italian wealth management market."