Strategy

SG Private Banking Sets Sights On UHNW Market, Large Deals

Stephen Harris, 22 September 2009

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SG Private Banking is focusing its efforts on the upper range of clients, according to the organisation’s chief executive, Daniel Truchi.

Mr Truchi said at a press conference yesterday that SG Private Banking intends to increase its market share in this segment of high net worth clients. He said that SG Private Banking could increase its share of the ultra high net worth market through “joint ventures” and synergies within the French bank, along with external alliances - such as its 37 per cent stake in US-based multi-family office, Rockefeller.

Mr Truchi confirmed that Societe Generale is keen to participate in the consolidation of the private banking industry and is prepared to look at substantial deals that would lead to a “quantum leap” for the firm.

“Such a deal would have to be on the basis of a similar business model. It would have to be a good fit that we could leverage off,” he said.

When questioned whether SG Private Banking had handed over names of private banking clients in Switzerland to third parties, Mr Truchi confirmed that as the law doesn’t allow disclosure, his organisation has not done so.

“The future is very promising for private banking, but it will be a business model based upon asset management, inter-generational planning, credit and legitimate tax planning rather than tax evasion, which we’ve never had anything to do with,” he said.

The wealth management market has seen a number of large acquisitions or deals that are in the pipeline. At the start of this year, Bank of America completed its purchase of Merrill Lynch, creating the world’s largest wealth manager, for example. A number of banks, including Switzerland’s Julius Baer and HSBC, have been thought to be interested in buying the Asian private banking assets of ING, the Dutch financial services group. Commerzbank, the German bank, is selling Kleinwort Benson, its UK private bank.

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