Swiss asset manager Vontobel has reported a year-on-year increase of almost 50% in first half pre-tax profit, large driven by a surge in digital demand and growth in advised client assets from institutional and private clients.
The firm’s pre-tax profit stood at CHF233.4m in the first six months of 2021, versus CHF156.1m a year ago.
Operating income rose to CHF779.6m from CHF623m over the period.
Advised client assets totalled CHF274.5bn at the end of June 2021, up 11% from the end of last year.
The annualised net new money growth of 6% was at the upper end of the firm’s target range of 4–6%.
The cost/income ratio improved to 69.6% in H1 2021 from 74.7% in the prior year.
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Vontobel’s CET1 capital ratio was 14.5% at June-end, compared to 13.8% at the end of 2020.
Asset Management continues growth momentum
Operating income at the unit grew 17% to CHF290.5m from CHF248.5m, due to rise in advised client assets and a good gross margin.
In the first few months of 2021, institutional investors took a more cautious approach compared to private clients.
The unit still managed to register net new money growth of 4.3% in H1 2021, which was within the target range.
It also benefitted from strong demand for the fixed income solutions offered by TwentyFour Asset Management and quant boutique Vescore’s offerings apart from the demand for its sustainable investment offerings
Wealth Management shines
Operating income at the unit increased 9% to CHF235m from CHF215.5m.
Net new money contributed by wealth management clients was CHF2.2bn, while annualised growth in net new money of 7% surpassed the target range.
Platforms & Services
Performance was strong in the business with External Asset Managers (EAMs), with growth in net new money of CHF800m and an annualised growth rate of 9.1%.
Operating income in the Platforms & Services Client Unit surged 32% year-on-year to CHF96.9m.
Strong demand in Digital Investing
A strong demand for structured products influenced operating income in Digital Investing in H1.
New clients were mainly acquired in Switzerland, Germany as well as Hong Kong. Products that enable investors to participate in the development of cryptocurrencies were also in demand.