Swiss Cantonal bank sets up in Germany

St Gallen Kantonalbank is offering private banking services in
Germany – becoming the first of Switzerland’s Cantonal banks to
start a subsidiary abroad.

The branch is located in Munich and will offer investment advice
and asset management services to clients in the country.

The bank will also offer services to independent asset mangers,
foundations and family offices through platforms mainly provided by
its parent company.

The bank said it wanted an onshore private banking presence in
Germany because it expected assets to be repatriated by its older
German clients as wealth transfer occurs to the next

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It will not offer mortgage or financing operations. The new
business, St Gallen Kantonalbank Deutschland, is a 100 percent
subsidiary of SGKB, the private banking boutique operation of the
Swiss bank.

It is to be headed by Hans Juergen Röwekamp, a former UBS banker
with 20 years of banking experience in Germany.

Last month, Vontobel created a new German unit, headquartered in
Munich, saying it aimed to become the leading Swiss private bank in



Julius Baer buys in Italy

Julius Baer has bought Alpha SIM, a Milan-based independent asset
manager with around €400 million ($560 million) under management,
subject to regulatory approval.

The business, which specialises in portfolio management and
advisory services for high net worth individuals, will merge with
Baer’s onshore private client business in the same city, Julius
Baer SIM.

Stefano Canossa remains head of Julius Baer SIM. A statement said
Baer would continue to “build on the existing Alpha team” to ensure
continuity of service. The deal is expected to close in the second
half of 2009.

“Alpha SIM has a proven track record in providing excellent service
and advice that is fully consistent with our strategy,” said
Bernard Keller, CEO for Italy and Southern Switzerland at

“This acquisition will significantly strengthen Julius Baer’s
competitive position in the private client services segment in
Italy and underscores our continued strong commitment to this
important market.”



BB&T launches unified account

BB&T has introduced a unified management account (UMA)
platform, providing clients with a single view of their entire
investment strategy.

UMAs aim to provide a consolidated picture of all of a client’s
investments with a range of different service providers.

They also help the wealth manager work out what rival products a
customer holds and enables them to form a more holistic picture of
a client’s holdings.

The platform includes external and proprietary mutual funds,
stocks, bonds, alternative investments, exchange-traded funds and
other investment vehicles.

“By aligning our wealth clients’ existing portfolios with our state
of the art process, we can now offer them an even more robust and
diversified portfolio along with the same local control of
investment decisions and transactions they’ve always enjoyed,” said
David Fisher, BB&T’s wealth division manager.

Clients can use the UMA platform to access recommendations and
models from top institutional money managers across the world. If
those recommendations conflict with a client’s risk tolerance, the
client’s personal portfolio manager will act as an “overlay
manager” who can override recommendations.



One-in-four worry about succession planning

Wealthy clients want their children to be taught the essentials of
money management by their private bank, according to a study by
Canada’s BMO Harris Private Banking.

While the survey showed 80 percent of people with assets over
C$500,000 ($450,897) had a will or legal document in place for
their estate, there were concerns over their children’s ability to
manage wealth.

Twenty-two percent of those surveyed said they were “very
concerned” about their children’s ability to manage their
inheritance. The two main concerns they cited were wasteful
spending (40 percent) and their child being under the influence of
someone they did not trust (16 percent).

As many as 31 percent said they had included suggestions in their
will regarding how they want their children to manage the
inheritance, while 43 percent plan to use a trust in their will as
a result of these concerns.



Double Dutch tie-up

BNP Paribas has merged Insinger de Beaufort and Nachenius Tieenk
& Co, its two operations in the Netherlands, creating a
top-five private banking player in the country.

BNP Paribas bought a stake in Insinger last summer as part of a
strategic partnership. There are further plans to merge Insinger
with BNP Paribas Wealth Management in the UK, taking it to around
€10 billion ($14 billion) in assets under management and 200

The new group, which will be called Insinger de Beaufort, will be
headquartered in Insinger’s offices in Amsterdam.

The combined business has offices in The Hague, Eindhoven,
Amsterdam, London and Cape Town.

“With our new dimension and the backing of such a strong
shareholder as BNP Paribas, Insinger de Beaufort is now perfectly
positioned in the Dutch market,” said Peter Sieradzki, chief
executive officer of Insinger de Beaufort.

“Our clients now have access to a unique value proposition,
combining the financial soundness and global capacities of BNP
Paribas with the distinctive personal approach of a local



Banks focus on affluent women

Private banks are targeting affluent women in the midst of what is
being termed a “paradigm shift” in the industry.

RBS Coutts recently said high net worth women in Singapore and Hong
Kong had $167 billion in untapped assets (see PBI 248).

Now, research from Wilmington Trust, the US private bank, and
Campden Research claims women are increasingly taking a more active
role in family finances, presenting an opportunity for advisers to
help women with all aspects of wealth planning.

It surveyed 40 women, aged 40 to 65, with a minimum net worth of
$25 million, and at least one child.

“Women are stepping up to new levels of involvement in the
management of their families’ wealth, with 88 percent of those in
the study playing a high to moderate role in the management of
family assets,” said Mindy Rosenthal, co-author of the

As well as RBS Coutts in Asia and Wilmington in the US, Citigroup
is said to be increasing the number of seminars on its Woman &
Co platform, while Genspring Family Office is also targeting
affluent women.