Vontobel acquires Lombard Odier business in North America

Vontobel, the Swiss private bank, has inked a deal to buy the North American wealth management portfolio of asset manager Lombard Odier.

The deal includes approximately 700m Swiss francs ($703m) of private wealth management clients based in the US and 600m Swiss francs of private client assets through a Montreal-based, SEC-regulated subsidiary.

Under the agreement, Lombard Odier will sell its existing discretionary and advisory wealth management business with US-based clients through an asset transfer to Vontobel.

The move is Vontobel’s first acquisition in the US, where it has been since 1984. It is also a critical part of Vontobel’s growth plan. The Swiss bank is targeting return on equity of 14% in 2020. Over the past five years it has averaged 12%.

In the US, Vontobel manages $20bn in its wealth management and asset management businesses. About three-quarters of the business is in asset management, which subadvises four Virtus mutual funds, including $7bn Virtus Vontobel Emerging Markets.

The remaining 25% is in wealth management, where the growth rate in the US is much higher than globally. Vontobel wants to deliver 10% annual net new money from its US private wealth operation.

The deal is expected to be completed in the first half of 2019.

Pedro Gonçalves
Pedro Gonçalves is Financial Correspondent at International Investment.

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