LGT has entered into a conditional agreement to acquire 100% of Crestone Wealth Management, an Australia-based high-net-worth wealth management firm with around AUD 25bn in client assets under management.
The Liechtenstein-headquartered private bank said on 15 December that the transaction, subject to Crestone shareholder approval, will give LGT an important foothold in the attractive Australian wealth management market, while allowing Crestone to expand its services and investment offering to clients.
Crestone provides investment advice and portfolio management services to high-net-worth clients and family offices, not-for-profit organizations, and financial institutions in the Australian market.
The intended transaction allows us to extend our already strong position in the Asia Pacific region."
Created in 2016 following a management buy-out of UBS Wealth Management Australia, the business today manages approx. AUD 25bn ($18bn; CHF 17bn), as at 30 November 2021) in client assets and has 250 employees, including more than 90 investment advisers, in its offices in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.
Crestone's shareholder base is composed of its founders, managers and employees.
The offer values Crestone at an amount of AUD 475m ($338m). Crestone will become part of LGT's Private Banking entity.
LGT said it was committed to maintaining and growing Crestone's current business model under the existing management.
Through the partnership with LGT, Crestone advisors, staff and clients will benefit from access to a broadened range of global services and investment opportunities, new international perspectives, a seamless cultural and operational fit, and an extension of the firm's global services and investment offering to clients, it said.
Michael Chisholm, chief executive of Crestone, said: "Crestone has come a long way in five years in its pursuit of always bringing the very best approach to portfolio construction and investment solutions to our clients. The envisaged transaction would enable us to deliver greater scale benefits to our clients whilst drawing on the experience, skills, and global insights of a leading wealth management firm like LGT.
"We believe that LGT is a natural long-term owner for our business that will provide us with further balance sheet strength while retaining the benefits of a private ownership structure that aligns with our client focused business model."
LGT said it had a successful track record of acquiring high-quality private banking and wealth management businesses around the world and retaining the clients and people within these organizations.
The intended transaction means LGT will gain a significant foothold in Australia, one of the fastest growing wealth management markets in the world, after successfully expanding its private banking franchise in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Prince Max von und zu Liechtenstein, chairman LGT, said: "Crestone is a preeminent wealth advisory firm with excellent further growth opportunities in the attractive Australian market. We look forward to working closely with them in the future. I'm convinced we can help Crestone further enhance its market position through access to our long-standing investment expertise, especially in alternative asset classes, ESG and impact investing."
Olivier de Perregaux, chief executive of LGT Private Banking, added: "Crestone has a successful entrepreneurial team, an attractive client franchise and very promising further growth prospects. This makes it an excellent strategic and cultural fit for LGT, and the intended transaction allows us to extend our already strong position in the Asia Pacific region. We very much look forward to welcoming Crestone, its employees and its clients to the LGT family."
The transaction, which is subject to Crestone shareholder as well as regulatory approvals, is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2022.