SG Hambros buys ABN AMRO’s London operations
SG Hambros Bank, the UK private banking arm of Société Générale,
will add £1 billion ($2 billion) to its assets under management
after the acquisition of the London-based private banking business
of ABN AMRO. The deal, at an undisclosed purchase price, is
understood to have been very attractive for SG.
Eric Barnett, SG Hambros’s group head of private banking, will
oversee the integration of the new business.
“This acquisition follows a number of years of rapid growth since
Hambros Bank was itself acquired by Société Générale in 1998 to
develop private banking in the UK and the Channel Islands,” said SG
Hambros chief executive Warwick Newbury. “We look forward to
welcoming both staff and the clients of ABN AMRO Private Banking
ABN has been struggling in the UK wealth market, marked by a number
of staff defections in recent months. In addition, the Dutch group
itself is faced with the uncertainty involved in the respective
bids from Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland-led
Andreas Sarasin leaves ‘family’ bank
Andreas R Sarasin, head of trading and logistics at Bank Sarasin,
is leaving with immediate effect because of what the Swiss bank
called “differences of opinion” about its future direction. Bank
Sarasin CEO Joachim Straehle will take over as acting head of
trading and logistics.
At the same time, the trading business unit will be transferred to
the asset management, products and sales division, where it will be
integrated as an additional business unit.
Andreas Sarasin, who has spent the last 25 years working for Bank
Sarasin, is also stepping down from the bank’s executive
“The board of directors and executive committee regret the
circumstances that led up to this decision,” according to a Sarasin
Rabobank of the Netherlands is now the majority shareholder of
Global private banking division for Santander
Banco Santander is to create a global private banking division with
€100 billion ($140 billion) in assets under management. The new
operation will combine all Santander’s international private
banking businesses except the units of the Santander network in
Spain or of its retail arm Banco Español de Crédito.
Santander’s international private banking businesses include Cater
Allen, James Hay and Abbey Share dealing in the UK and Santander
Private Banking in Italy.
The combined division will be led by Javier Marin, currently chief
executive of its wealth arm, Banif.
VP expands in Hong Kong and Singapore
VP Bank, the Liechtenstein wealth manager, has opened an asset
management company in Hong Kong, called VP Wealth Management (Hong
Kong). VP Bank already has a representative office in Hong Kong. It
also plans to open a bank in Singapore by the end of 2007.
“By supplementing the representative office with an asset
management company, VP Bank is taking another step to enhancing its
wealth consulting activities and presence in the Asian region,”
said Adolf E Real, VP Bank Group’s chief executive.
Clare Lam, a VP Bank executive director and deputy chief
representative for VP Bank in Hong Kong since 2006, heads the new
UBS looks for more African clients
UBS is to open a wealth management advisory office in South Africa
to expand its current operations in Africa’s biggest economy,
adding to its existing investment banking services in the
“UBS is a globally active financial services firm with wealth
management as a core business. We therefore target markets with a
significant concentration of wealth,” said Juerg A Schalch,
designated head of UBS Wealth Management South Africa.
South Africa’s wealth management and private banking industries
have mushroomed in recent years as a booming economy and
affirmative action policies created increasing numbers of wealthy
blacks. The World Wealth Report estimated that the population of
high net worth individuals in the country rose 13.3 percent to
total 48,000 last year.
Marianne Hay exits Citigroup
Marianne Hay, head of Citigroup’s Global Wealth Management business
in Europe, has left the bank to “pursue other opportunities”, amid
Citi’s latest reorganisation of senior management ranks.
She has been replaced by Catherine Weir, formerly a managing
director and head of Citi Markets and Banking (CMB) for the ASEAN
region, covering Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, the
Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Akbar Shah, head of the Middle
East, moves to the Asia-Pacific region to manage its Mega Wealth
Weir, a 20-year Citi veteran, will manage the two businesses as a
combined unit effective 1 September, based in London.
Citi also appointed Samir Raslan, currently head of investments for
Citi Global Wealth Management Asia-Pacific, as head of its Central
and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA) business,
reporting to Weir. He takes up his new appointment in October.
Within the CEEMEA operation, Muwaffak Bibi, who currently leads the
Saudi Arabia and Levant business, has been promoted to manage a
larger business covering the Middle East and North Africa.
Clariden Leu reshuffles senior management
Clariden Leu, the Swiss private bank owned by Credit Suisse,
reshuffled management roles and retrenched after the defection of a
key executive, Beat Wittmann, to rival Julius Baer earlier this
year. It named private banking head Hans Nuetzi as deputy chief
executive. He will also be head of a new investment products
division where he replaces Wittmann, who left for Baer in June.
Wittmann, whose new role at Baer hasn’t been publicly disclosed
yet, was one of three top Clariden Leu executives who ran the bank,
along with private banking head Nuetzi and chief executive Bernard
Stalder will now manage Clariden Leu’s private banking arm while
Nuetzi will run product units such as the funds and structured
The bank is also cutting its Zurich branches from 15 to six by the
Weatherill to set up advisory venture
Bruce Weatherill, the head of the global private banking and wealth
management practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), is due to
leave the firm next year. Weatherill, a PwC partner for the past 20
years, plans to set up a firm providing advice and mentoring to a
small number of clients. He has overseen the PwC Global Private
Banking and Wealth Management Reports, which have appeared on a
regular basis since 1993 and are among the major benchmarking
studies on global wealth.