Italian lender Intesa Sanpaolo’s private banking unit has agreed to take a 69% stake in Swiss private bank REYL & Cie for an undisclosed sum.
Intesa will execute the transaction through Fideuram – Intesa Sanpaolo Private Banking (Fideuram – ISP PB), enabling it to boost its international private banking operations.
Under the agreement, Fideuram – ISP PB will merge its Swiss bank subsidiary Intesa Sanpaolo Private Bank (Suisse) Morval (ISPBM) into REYL leading to the formation of a CHF18bn ($19.6bn) entity with staff headcount of around 400.
This includes over CHF5.1bn in assets and 176 employees of ISPBM, added to REYL’s more than CHF13bn in assets and 220-strong workforce.
The combined group will remain based in Geneva, with operations across the EU, Latin America, Middle East as well as the Far East.
The management of the two businesses have together outlined a long-term, commonly-agreed strategic plan to develop the business.
“The transaction will bring benefits, including a reinforced institutional framework and balance sheet, cross-referrals across all business segments, seeding capital for new product initiatives, placement, syndication and co-advisory opportunities, as well a vastly expanded distribution network,” the companies said.
The deal awaits regulatory nod, with completion anticipated in the first half of next year.
REYL CEO François Reyl called Fideuram – ISP PB a “strong strategic fit”.
He along with other REYL partners Pasha Bakhtiar, Nicolas Duchêne, Thomas Fontaine, Christian Fringhian and Lorenzo Rocco di Torrepadula will continue to hold significant interest in the business.
Fideuram – ISP PB CEO Tommaso Corcos said: “The strategic partnership with REYL confirms the Intesa Sanpaolo Group’s strategy, which has long been focused on building a Wealth Management & Protection Company.
“It also fits within the broader process of strengthening and repositioning of our Private Banking Division’s foreign activities, especially in Switzerland, the leading market for international activities.”
Earlier this year, Intesa Sanpaolo acquired rival UBI with 90% shareholder backing.
Meanwhile, M&A activities have been rampant in the Swiss financial space recently.
This includes the acquisition of Zurich-based Bank am Bellevue by Luxembourg’s Quintet.
Further, in July this year, Franco-German financial group ODDO BHF said that it is negotiating a merger with Swiss private bank Landolt & Cie.