Julius Baer splits businesses
Julius Baer is to split its business into separately listed private banking and asset management operations as part of its shift towards an open architecture offering for clients.
“We are convinced that both entities will benefit from their sharpened focus and the absence of competing interests,” said Raymond Baer, chairman of the bank.
GAM, Artio Global and Julius Baer Asset Management Europe will be bundled together and spun off in an IPO as GAM Holding, subject to market conditions.
Sal Opp targets Greece, Spain
Sal Oppenheim is expanding its teams in Greece and Spain as it returned to profitability in the first quarter of 2009.
“We will continue to tap the new and very interesting Greek market with a team of specialists, and aim to break into the Spanish market,” said Christian Camenzind, CEO of the bank’s Swiss subsidiary.
The Luxembourg-based bank made a net loss of CHF117 million ($105 million) for 2008, but said trading had improved early in 2009.
MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
First Republic for sale in US
Bank of America (BofA) is looking to sell its First Republic wealth management subsidiary, a business it picked up through the acquisition of Merrill Lynch.
BofA, which was told it needed $33.9 billion in capital by US regulators, is looking at disposing non-core assets. First Republic is seen as surplus to requirements, given BofA already has the more established US Trust business.
Merrill bought the business in September 2007 for $1.8 billion, but commentators expect the business to sell for much less in the current environment.
BBVA targets slice of China market
BBVA is aiming to establish a 5 percent share of the Chinese private banking market through a strategic tie-up with China CITIC Bank (CNCB).
BBVA, Spain’s second-largest bank, has a 10 percent stake in CNCB, majority owned by Chinese conglomerate CITIC Group. They have now extended their cooperation with private banking and car financing initiatives. CNCB, a retail and corporate lender, already has a private banking business with 23 branches. It follows a successful retail banking collaboration between the two.