Indosuez WM in talks to acquire CIC’s Asia biz

Indosuez Wealth Management, rebranded from Crédit Agricole Private Bank last year, has said that it has entered into “exclusive discussions” with Credit Industriel et Commercial  (CIC) to acquire CIC’s private banking activities in Singapore and Hong Kong, in what is being seen as yet another example of a continuing trend among banks in Asia to consolidate.

In a statement today, Indosuez said the acquisition would “further enhance Indosuez Wealth Management’s footprint and position in Asia”, and would be in line with its strategic priorities to accelerate growth in key markets, as part of its “Shaping Indosuez 2020” corporate project, which is part of the Credit Agricole Group’s “Medium-Term Plan”.

The transaction is expected to be finalised by the end of the year, and is subject to both regulatory approvals and to customary employee consultation procedures in France, the Indosuez statement said. The price of the proposed deal wasn’t given.

Indosuez Wealth Management “will work closely with CIC to ensure a smooth process for both the transaction and for the transition of both clients and employees,” Indozuez said in its statement.

Indosuez Wealth Management chief executive Paul de Leusse added: “Our financial knowledge of Asia, our efficient logistic platform, and the strength of a large group enable us to provide tailor-made solutions to families and entrepreneurs whose needs are becoming increasingly sophisticated.”

Like Crédit Agricole, Crédit Industriel et Commercial is based in Paris, and dates back to the 1800s. It was founded in 1859 to be exact, and is a part of Crédit Mutuel, one of France’s largest banking groups.

As reported, Crédit Agricole rebranded its private banking arm as Indosuez Wealth Management last year, as it sought to revive a historic name in what was described at the time as a major transformation aimed at tapping into new markets in Asia and across the globe. The full, formal new name is CA Indosuez Wealth (Group).

Paris-based Crédit Agricole originally dropped the Indosuez name from use after the 2004 merger between parent Crédit Agricole, Credit Lyonais and Indosuez. Eleven years later, though, the regional connotations of “Indosuez” were seen more likely to appeal to the new generations of wealthy individuals in countries around the world, according to Crédit Agricole.

The Indosuez name came from one of Crédit Agricole’s historic component entities, Banque de l’Indochine, originally founded in 1875 in Paris to operate in French Indochina, the rest of Asia, and the Pacific.

Today, Indosuez Wealth Management employs 2,800 employees operating out of offices in 14 countries, looking after the financial needs of high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals worldwide. Client assets totalled €110bn (US$123bn, £96.3bn) at the end of December, Crédit Agricole said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Helen Burggraf
Helen Burggraf is the editor of International Investment. A US-trained journalist, she has worked in Rome, New York City and London, covering everything from the fashion and retailing industries to the global drinking water and water-treatment sector, private equity, and most recently, the international cross-border financial services/advice industry.

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