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Julius Baer Starts Transferring Acquired BoA Merrill Wealth Management Unit

Tom Burroughes

1 February 2013

Julius Baer, which reports fourth-quarter result next week, today announced the formal end to the process of acquiring the non-US wealth management business of Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

The principal closing of the transaction, announced last August and which brought in a business with SFr11 billion of assets, marks the start of a two-year transfer and integration process, the Swiss bank said in a statement.

"During this period, IWM entities, financial advisors, their client relationships and related assets under management will be transferred to Julius Baer in a staggered process in the respective more than 20 locations, subject to the fulfilment of local preconditions," the bank said in a statement.

The first step in the acquisition and business transfer process is the acquisition of Merrill Lynch Bank (Suisse) and its branches in Zurich and Dubai. Merrill Lynch Bank (Suisse) is expected to be merged into Julius Baer in the summer of 2013.

“The IWM business is an excellent strategic fit, strengthening Julius Baer’s presence in key growth markets and significantly enlarging our asset base,” said Boris Collardi, chief executive at the Zurich-listed bank.

The acquisition of the BoA Merrill Lynch business last year was one of the more notable M&A transactions in the wealth management sector in recent years. According to recent research from Scorpio, the consultancy, over $1.1 trillion of high net worth assets changed hands between early 2008 and the middle of 2012 in such transactions, while the average price paid, as a percentage of AuM, fell during that period.