Liechtenstein’s LGT to acquire ABN AMRO’s Asia, Middle East private banking ops

LGT, the Liechtenstein private bank that had its origins as the family office of Liechtenstein’s royal family, is to acquire ABN AMRO’s private banking business in Asia and the Middle East, in the latest development in the currently-volatile Asian private banking market. 

Details of the deal, which is expected to complete in the second quarter of next year, subject to regulatory approvals, weren’t disclosed.

The acquisition will see LGT, which is owned by the House of Liechtenstein, add new private banking outposts in Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai – with approximately US$20bn in total assets under management – to its to its existing overseas banking operations, LGT said in a statement.

It noted that the purchase marked “a major step in the implementation of LGT’s growth strategy”, and that it is expected to see it increase its AUM in Asia  to more than US$40bn, and to around US$160bn in total.

ABN AMRO’s decision to sell the business follows a strategic decision to focus on growing its “Northwest Europe” private banking activities, according to LGT. It is majority owned by the Dutch government, which took it over in 2008, after it was caught out by the banking crisis that hit Europe during the global financial crisis, after an attempt to buy it by a consortium of other European banks collapsed.

As reported, ABN AMRO recently closed its Jersey operation to concentrate its Channel Islands operations in Guernsey, where it had a more state-of-the-art business already in place.

Asia operations since 1826

ABN AMRO’s Asian operations date back to 1826, and its client portfolios there include wealthy families, private investors and institutions across key regional markets in Hong Kong, mainland China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Middle East, according to LGT.

LGT first opened an Asian operation in 1986, and has been operating with a banking license in Singapore since 2003 and in Hong Kong since 2011. It opened its main Gulf regional office, in Dubai, in
2012.

In the statement announcing LGT’s acquisition, LGT chief executive Prince Max von und zu Liechtenstein said that his bank would look to build “on our successful presence in Asia and the Middle East, and on ABN AMRO’s long tradition in serving clients in the region”.

At the end of June, LGT managed assets of CHF143.4bn (US$147.2bn) on behalf of private individuals and institutional clients. it currently employs more than 2,500 people.

In March, it acquired Vestra Wealth, a London-based wealth manager, which is now known as LGT Vestra.

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.

Read more from Helen Burggraf

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