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Julius Baer Scales Up Mexican Wealth Ambitions

Tom Burroughes

4 March 2019

has increased its stake in Mexican wealth management firm NSC Asesores, taking a 30 per cent stake. This means that it now owns 70 per cent of the firm, having made its initial deal in 2015. The move comes as a number of international private banks have ramped up operations in central and South America recently. 

The Zurich-listed lender declined to disclose the cost of the fresh acquisition.

NSC Asesores manages client assets of about $3.5 billion. The transaction is immediately accretive to Julius Baer’s earnings per share and will have a modest impact on the group’s capital ratios, it said in a statement today. 

The management team of NSC Asesores, under the leadership of Claudio Núñez, chief executive, and Mariví Esteve de Murga, deputy CEO, will remain in place.

“Mexico is the second largest economy in Latin America and constitutes a core market in the region for Julius Baer. The strategic partnership with NSC Asesores represents an excellent opportunity to leverage Julius Baer’s broad offering. By raising our participation to a majority stake, we will be able to increase the level of cooperation for the benefit of both companies’ clients,” Beatriz Sanchez, head of Latin America and member of Julius Baer’s executive board, said.

While Latin American countries have had their share of financial troubles in recent years, a situation accentuated by rising US interest rates, a number of international wealth management houses have expanded teams in the region. The head of JP Morgan’s private bank in Mexico was recently quoted as saying that it is expanding in Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America. It wants to boost its frontline headcount by 15 per cent. Earlier in February, this publication reported that Credit Suisse added a raft of senior figures to its international wealth management business with a focus on the Latin American client market. 

Last September, a Mexican subsidiary of wealth structuring solutions firm Lombard International agreed to acquire a life insurance business from Principal Seguros, enabling the business to drive growth in Mexican and Latin American high net worth markets. Lombard International’s Mexican joint venture business is called Akaan Lombard International.