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December 17, 2021

Vontobel to acquire UBS’ subsidiary serving US clients

By Verdict Staff

Swiss bank Vontobel has signed a deal to acquire UBS Swiss Financial Advisers (SFA), a Zurich-based subsidiary of UBS that serves US clients seeking an account in Switzerland for diversification purposes.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Vontobel is acquiring SFA through Vontobel Swiss Wealth Advisors (VSWA), which provides wealth management investment solutions for US and qualified Canadian investors.

Vontobel will merge SFA with VSWA following the close of the transaction, which is expected to close in the third quarter of the year.

The deal forms part of Vontobel’s strategy to further accelerate its ongoing growth strategy in the US.

Furthermore, the firm is now expected to become the largest Swiss-domiciled wealth manager in the US market through its SEC licensed entities.

SFA managed $7.78bn (CHF 7.2bn) in assets as of the end of this September. The combined pro forma assets under management will more than double to over CHF 10bn.

Vontobel global head of Wealth Management and VSWA chairman Georg Schubiger said: “This transaction is reflective of our confidence in the US market and our ongoing strategic growth efforts in the region.

“This is a major step toward making Vontobel a global name that serves sophisticated clients around the world and builds toward our goal of increasing US client revenue and overall assets under management.”

UBS will continue to refer its clients to SFA following the deal.

UBS Global Wealth Management co-president and UBS Americas president Tom Naratil said: “We are pleased to partner with Vontobel, a leading global investment firm that’s client focused and committed to excellence.

“This acquisition not only ensures UBS’s US clients continue to have access to a Swiss-based money management firm, but it also simplifies our business structure and enables us to focus on core activities with scale in line with our strategic priorities.”

As part of its efforts to expand in the North American market, Vontobel plans to open a new office in Miami.

In 2019, the firm purchased Lombard Odier’s US- based client portfolio.

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