Julius Baer announces that, in line with its original integration plans, the transfer of the Hong Kong and Singapore businesses of Merrill Lynch’s International Wealth Management (IWM) started this monday. This step represents another major milestone in the two-year integration process and will elevate Julius Baer into the leading group of international private banks in its second home market Asia.
The transfer of the businesses in Hong Kong and Singapore to Julius Baer’s existing entities is expected to double the Bank’s assets under management in Asia, thereby significantly strengthening Julius Baer’s already strong position in this important growth region.
Boris F.J. Collardi, Chief Executive Officer of Julius Baer Group, said: “Representing more than a third of IWM’s entire business in scope, the integration of the Hong Kong and Singapore businesses is a crucial part of the transaction. After the integration about a quarter of our total assets will be managed in Asia and it will make us one of the largest international wealth management players in our second home market. The transfer will double the number of our local employees. With this considerable reinforcement we have created excellent preconditions for further dynamic growth in this very important market in the years to come.”
Dr. Thomas R. Meier, Head Asia of Bank Julius Baer, added: “I very much look forward to welcoming the new colleagues and clients. The teams on both sides have already worked together very closely over the last few months to ensure that the transition will continue to proceed as planned. By combining the unique strengths and histories of both banks we will be able to provide an even better and more comprehensive service to clients in this region.”
IWM’s financial advisers, their client relationships and related assets under management of the respective businesses will be transferred to the Julius Baer platforms in stages and in line with applicable regulations in the two jurisdictions. The process in Asia is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2014.
In Hong Kong, Bank Julius Baer will eventually move its newly combined business into One International Finance Centre, 1 Harbour View Street as its new prime location. In Singapore, Bank Julius Baer will continue to operate out of its existing premises at Asia Square and add an office at Mapletree Business City. Singapore will remain Julius Baer’s IT and operations hub for Asia.
Other major businesses adding further scale to follow shortly
As previously communicated, since the Principal Closing of the transaction last February already CHF 24 billion of IWM’s assets under management have been reported by the end of April 2013. The next businesses to transfer, expected to occur during the coming summer months, are in the UK, Spain and Israel, which will add substantial scale to Julius Baer’s global network, especially in the UK. The preparations for these transfers are well under way.
IWM is an excellent strategic fit for Julius Baer, strengthening the Group’s presence in key growth markets around the globe and significantly enlarging its asset base. The integration phase which was launched in February 2013 is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2015, with the large majority of the assets under management targeted to be transferred in 2013.