Julius Baer starts transfer of Merrill Lynch’s wealth management business in HK, Singapore
The transfer of the Hong Kong and Singapore businesses of Merrill Lynch’s International Wealth Management (IWM) to Julius Baer started yesterday as part of a two-year integration process.
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.
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.”
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.
Since the principal closing of the transaction last February, about 24 billion Swiss francs (US$24.810 billion) of IWM’s assets under management have been reported by end-April 2013. The next businesses to transfer, expected to occur in the third quarter, are in the UK, Spain and Israel. The preparations for these transfers are under way.
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.