Swiss private banking group Julius Baer has started the transfer of Merrill Lynch’s International Wealth Management (IWM) business in Panama.

Through this transferring, Julius Baer will enhance its existing presence in Panama market, enabling the Bank to capitalize on the growth momentum in Panama and other Latin American countries.

Merrill Lynch has run wealth management activities in Panama for 40 years and has built a team of financial advisors and support staff, catering to a local and international client base.

The employees and client relationships of the Panama business were transferred on 6 November 2013, while the client assets will be transferred in a staggered manner, expected to be completed by mid-2014.

Julius Baer’s business in Panama will operate as a broker-dealer and be regulated by the Superintendency of the Securities Markets of the Republic of Panama.

According to Julius Baer, its Panama business will be headed by Eduardo Nogueira who is a long-standing private banking professional and joined Julius Baer in February 2013.

Gustavo Raitzin, member of the executive board of Julius Baer and head Latin America and Israel, said: "Enhancing our position in this strategically well-located and fast-growing market is an important step for us and will enable us to further build our business in the country and across the entire Latin American region.

The new Julius Baer office will operate from the Torres de las Américas building in Panama City. In Latin America, Julius Baer also has offices in Chile (Santiago de Chile), Peru (Lima), Uruguay (Montevideo) and a partnership with GPS in Brazil.