Julius Baer Group acquires WMPartners Wealth Management as first step for merger with Infidar Investment Advisory unit

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Nov 19, 2013 04:34 AM EST

Switzerland-based wealth manager Julius Baer Group Ltd said it will buy the shares of WMPartners Wealth Management Ltd. The acquisition is the first step in the transaction that will ultimately merge WMPartners with Julius Baer's Infidar Investment Advisory Ltd unit. Terms of the deal were not disclosed as agreed upon by all parties.

The merger seeks to establish a new company that will have a workforce of 50 staff and manage CHF 4 billion in client assets. It will be working with 30 custodian banks and is set to be one of the biggest independent asset managers in Switzerland.

After the deal would be completed, WMPartners Chief Executive Officer and Partner Heiner Grüter will be the Chief Executive Officer of the new company. In a statement, Julius Baer Group said all the partners in the two companies that would be merging would be involved in the new firm's operations. Infidar Chief Executive Officer Markus Gonseth as well as Willi Leimer and Balthasar Meier will be part of the new firm's Board of Directors.

Grüter said the two companies complement each other perfectly. He added, "We will be able to guarantee our clients the surest possible continuity while also being even better placed to meet our existing and future client requirements with our combined strengths."

Yves Robert-Charrue, Head Independent Asset Managers & Global Custody at Bank Julius Baer said the new firm will be completely independent as far as its investment decisions and the choice of its custodian banks are concerned. He added, "At the same time, it will be able to handle the increasingly complex requirements that we are seeing nowadays, while also enjoying the backing of a strong partner in the form of Julius Baer. By bundling our skills and expertise, we are creating one of the largest independent asset managers in Switzerland."

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