Swiss bank Julius Baer has signed a co-operation agreement with independent investment management firm Kairos to create an onshore wealth management business in Italy.
As part of the deal, Julius Baer will acquire 19.9% of Kairos, subject to regulatory approvals.
The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2013 with the all Italian wealth management activities of the two groups run under the name Kairos Julius Baer.
The parties have also agreed to set up a new private bank in Italy by separately applying for a banking licence after the closing of this transaction.
The expansion in Italy is part of the Julius Baer’s strategy to further grow and develop their business in Italy, the bank said.
It follows 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.
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The Milan-based investment manager, Kairos, has 115 staff that oversees about 4.5bn of assets under management.
"We believe Kairos will bring know-how and reputation to our ambitious plans in the Italian private banking environment," said Boris F.J. Collardi, Julius Baer CEO.
Paolo Basilico, founding partner of Kairos, added: "Clients will find in Kairos Julius Baer the quality and the services that they require. Both Kairos and Julius Baer are independent and have a pure wealth management business model, offering a compelling strategic fit."