EFG International and BSI Merge to Form Private-Banking Giant

After entering exclusive negotiations with BTG Pactual, Zurich based EFG International has announced the acquisition of BSI Bank. 

In a statement EFG International said that it is to acquire the Lugano-based private bank BSI, according to an agreement signed on 21 February 2016 with BSI’s sole shareholder BTG Pactual. The total purchase price will amount to 1,328 million Swiss francs.

Combined EFG and BSI will become one of the largest private banks in Switzerland with 170 billion of Swiss francs in assets under management1 (as at 31 December 2015) – gaining a significant competitive position in the growing global wealth management market. Subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals, completion of the transaction is expected in the fourth quarter of 2016. 

BTG Pactual will become EFG shareholder with 20 percent, while EFG Group will remain largest shareholder with over 35 percent.

Combining Strengths

A new management structure for the combined business will take effect at closing, although BSI will continue to operate in its current form as a subsidiary of EFG International until the merger and the migration to one common IT platform, which are planned for completion by year-end 2017.

«By combining the complementary strengths of BSI and EFG, we are forming a leading global private bank with strong roots in all language regions of Switzerland. Building on the great talent at both banks, BSI’s long-standing experience and EFG’s entrepreneurial spirit, we will provide a powerful value proposition to clients and employees alike. We are offering our shareholders attractive prospects, and the transaction is in the best interest of the Swiss financial center,» said Joachim H. Straehle, CEO of EFG. International.

Complimentary Offering?

The new combined bank will have 860 client relation officers (CRO) globally, BSI and EFG will be able to leverage their private banking and asset management offerings and complementary geographic presence, providing an attractive platform for clients and additional CRO.

Compared to EFG’s current position, the combined bank will have a much stronger foothold in Switzerland, in the canton of Ticino in particular, and in Italy, as well as benefiting from BSI’s presence in the Middle East.

Many Questions

BSI will benefit from EFG’s strong position in the U.K. and established presence in Spain. Both banks will enhance their positions in Monaco and Luxemburg.

In Asia – where EFG has a strong presence in Hong Kong and BSI in Singapore – as well as in Latin America, both banks will almost double their assets under management.

As finews.ch recently commented the deal throws up many intriguing questions.


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