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Julius Baer Takes Full Control Of Merrill IWM Businesses In Lebanon, Bahrain, UAE

Tom Burroughes

9 December 2013

Julius Baer said today that it has taken full control of the Merrill Lynch International Wealth Management businesses in Lebanon, Bahrain and UAE, continuing the process of transferring operations into the Swiss-listed bank around the world.

The transfer of the businesses follows moves to take full control of other Merrill Lynch IWM operations since agreed to acquire the US firm’s non-US wealth business in August 2012. Julius Baer has already taken control of operations in regions such as the UK.

As explained in a statement today, Merrill Lynch has run private banking activities for more than 50 years in Lebanon and for more than 35 years in Bahrain. In Dubai, two offices of Merrill Lynch transitioned over to Julius Baer’s existing business, one based in the free zone of the Dubai International Financial Center and one based in the domestic Dubai market.

The employees, client relationships and the majority of the assets of the Middle Eastern businesses transferred in the first days of December 2013. The process is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2014, the Julius Baer statement said.

“I very much look forward to welcoming the new colleagues and clients. Gaining new footholds in the Middle Eastern markets of Lebanon and Bahrain and strengthening our existing Dubai presence is an important step for us and will enable us to further expand our footprint in this key growth region,” Rémy Bersier, member of the executive board of Julius Baer and head of Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa, said.

In the Middle East, Julius Baer now has offices in Abu Dhabi, Beirut, Cairo, Dubai, Istanbul and Manama.

So far the businesses located in Switzerland, Uruguay, Chile, Luxembourg, Monaco, Hong Kong, Singapore, UK, Spain and Panama have started the transfer process as well and are moving ahead as planned. The integration phase, which was launched in February 2013, is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2015, with the large majority of the assets under management planned to be transferred in 2013.