Fideuram – Intesa Sanpaolo Private Banking (Fideuram – ISPB) and REYL & Cie have secured approval from European and Swiss financial regulatory bodies to enter a strategic partnership.

The approval from European Central Bank (ECB) and FINMA comes as the legal merger of REYL & Cie and ISPBM is expected to be concluded by the end of the year.

This partnership will allow Fideuram – ISPB to further fortify its international wealth management activities.

Switzerland will remain as the main hub for the unit’s international private banking activities.

Following the transaction, REYL & Cie will retain its Geneva headquarters and expand into an international banking group with around 400 employees.

The company’s AUM is expected to increase to nearly €23bn (CHF 25bn) and regulatory shareholders’ equity to about €190m (CHF210m).

It will continue to offer services across five business lines, namely wealth management, entrepreneur & family office services, corporate advisory & structuring, asset services and asset management.

Fideuram – ISPB will own 69% of REYL & Cie’s capital. The remaining 31% stake will be collectively retained by partners François Reyl, Nicolas Duchêne, Pasha Bakhtiar, Thomas Fontaine and Lorenzo Rocco di Torrepadula and Christian Fringhian.

The partners will be responsible for day-to-day management and strategy implementation.

REYL partner and deputy CEO Duchêne will assume the role of general manager at Intesa Sanpaolo Private Bank Suisse Morval, on an interim basis, until the companies conclude the legal merger.

Fideuram – ISPB CEO Tommaso Corcos said: “The combination of skills, experience, innovation capabilities and a common culture of customer service, constitutes the cornerstones on which to build a new leading international bank, serving our most demanding clients.”

REYL & Cie CEO François Reyl said: “We are convinced that Fideuram – Intesa Sanpaolo Private Banking’s quality and financial power associated with REYL’s entrepreneurial spirit and innovation capability will create the perfect conditions to achieve success in the current environment.”

In February this year, reports emerged about Intesa Sanpaolo seeking small takeovers in wealth management and private banking in Europe.

Speaking in a Bloomberg Television interview, CEO Carlo Messina said that the bank is eyeing acquisition of boutique operators, small players or private banker teams.