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September 21, 2009

News Digest

StanChart to sponsor Liverpool FC..., Wegelin family office business opens..., Jersey gets green light..., Gorman to become Morgan Stanley CEO..., SG canvasses clients with arts interest..., Adam & Co hooks up to new web platform...

By Verdict Staff


StanChart to sponsor Liverpool FC

Standard Chartered (StanChart) has signed a four-year $130 million sponsorship deal with English football team Liverpool FC to build its brand presence in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

The club, a leading team in European competition and its domestic league, has more than 50 percent of its fans based in Asia, including 60 million in China, 6 million in India and 5 million in Thailand. Last season it had more than 90,000 hours of TV coverage across the globe.

The deal is seen by the bank as a useful marketing tool across the franchise. But it looks particularly important to its Priority Banking business, which serves clients in the $100,000 to $500,000 category and has been actively expanding, notably in Greater China last month, where it announced it was hiring 430 new staff.

Liverpool toured Singapore and Thailand in its pre-season build-up, the success of which is believed to have helped secure the deal with StanChart.

StanChart is now the club’s main sponsor from July 2010 until the end of the 2013-2014 season. Its name and logo will appear on the team’s shirt and it will have a rights package that enables it increase brand awareness in its core geographies, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. This will include promotions within branches, according to a spokesman, who said it was too early to talk about details.



Wegelin family office business opens

Wegelin & Co has appointed Pascal Cettier head of its new family office services and advisory business.

Adrian Künzi, a managing partner at Wegelin, told PBI in April about his plans to open the business. The unit has now been officially launched, with Cettier, who has been with the bank since 2001, in charge. He has experience in the bank’s asset management and institutional clients divisions.

The family office business offers professional asset management and advisory services to Swiss and international single and multi family offices. The team advises on qualitative asset management, its structuring, as well as cash and risk management.

This includes the use of passive instruments including index funds, ETFs and swaps, according to a bank spokeswoman.

“The overriding advantage of this concept is that we ourselves do not offer family office services, but, rather, focus on independent advisory services,” said Künzi “This way, conflicts of interests can be avoided.”



Jersey gets green light

Jersey, the UK channel island, has been given a clean bill of health in an International Monetary Fund (IMF) assessment on levels of banking supervision.

The report said the financial crisis had highlighted the vulnerability of Jersey’s banks, but that financial soundness indicators for institutions licensed on the island had been satisfactory. It recommended setting up a dedicated bank insolvency regime.

The review, carried out under the IMF’s Financial Sector Assessment Programme (FSAP), showed Jersey was classed compliant or largely compliant in 44 of the 49 categories. That compared to 36 for the UK and 33 for Switzerland.

Michael Lagopoulos, CEO of the international arm of RBC Wealth Management, whose business in one of the largest operating in the jurisdiction, said the largely positive review would provide comfort to clients.

“Our clients are extremely attracted to Jersey for these reasons, and the IMF’s paper is a welcome affirmation of the positive aspects of the jurisdiction,” he said.

Geoff Cooke, head of Jersey Finance, which promotes the island as a financial centre, added: “The facts, independently endorsed by the IMF, speak for themselves. When compared to any other financial jurisdiction, Jersey’s finance industry standards rank at the highest level.”



Gorman to become Morgan Stanley CEO

James Gorman, the banker which helped build Morgan Stanley’s wealth management business into the third-largest global player, is to become CEO of the Wall Street bank in 2010.

Gorman moved to Morgan Stanley in 2006 as president and COO of its global wealth management group, and is now being promoted from co-president to CEO, as part of a succession plan. John Mack, the current CEO, is being made chairman. Both will take up their new roles at the end of the year.

Gorman is credited with tripling the profit of the bank’s wealth management business in three years and then driving the acquisition of a majority stake in Citi’s Smith Barney business.

He has also headed Merrill Lynch’s US and global private client businesses.

“James led dramatic turnarounds of major businesses at both Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley, and this year forged the world’s [third] largest wealth management business,” said Robert Kidder, lead director of the bank’s board.

“We are confident with James Gorman as CEO and John Mack as chairman, Morgan Stanley will continue… building our market share across all key businesses.”



SG canvasses clients with arts interest

SG Private Banking has introduced an art advisory service to its clients through a partnership with London-based specialists 1858 Limited Art Advisory

It says there is increasing interest among clients in building and developing art collections. A Société Générale spokesman said the deal meant private banking clients could receive help selecting, estimating and negotiating prices of works of art, enabling “significantly reduced transaction charges”.

“In a rapidly evolving art market, the expertise of 1858 Limited Art Advisory will provide SG Private Banking’s high net worth clients with access to the best advice in this field,” the spokesman added.

They would also receive other benefits including: logistics management, covering shipping, restoration, display and storage; representation at auction houses and advice on philanthropy.

1858 Limited Art Advisory advises clients on art acquisition and divestment in the international marketplace and through private sales.



Adam & Co hooks up to new web platform

Adam & Co, the Scottish private bank owned by RBS, has signed a deal to develop its new transactional customer relationship web platform.

The bank, which has 9,000 high net worth customers, is working with InterSystems Corporation on the project, which aims to improve the ability of clients to manage their finances online.

A spokesman said the bank hoped the new web portal will maintain Adam & Co’s competitive advantage and enhance customer retention.

“Our high performance database software will enable Adam & Co’s customers to manage their finances online, whilst at the same time retaining the personal banking touch that is the bank’s hallmark,” said Paul Rayner, sales manager for financial services at InterSystems.

Adam & Co is part of RBS’s UK wealth operations, which also includes Coutts & Co. The two businesses had combined assets under management excluding deposits of £29.8 billion ($49.3 billion) at the end of June, down 14 percent in the first six months of 2009.

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