UBP: Coutts Deal Was All About Asia

Michel Longhini, Guy de Picciotto, Michael Blake

Michel Longhini, Guy de Picciotto, Michael Blake

The acquisition of the Coutts International business by Union Bancaire Privee is one deal that swam against the recent trend. For a change an Asian dominated wealth management business unit was bought by a Geneva domiciled institution.

Addressing a briefing to announce the successful completion and integration of Coutts Asia into Union Bancaire Privee (UBP), Guy de Picciotto spoke of his plans and strategy for his Asian business post-integration.

Seated in the newly branded offices of Union Bancaire Privee in One Raffles Quay, Singapore, the UBP Chief Executive was frank about the Coutts International acquisition. «It was all about Asia,» he said.

Both Men Pro Asia

Flanked by Michel Longhini, the CEO Private Banking at UBP, and Michael Blake, CEO Private Banking Asia, UBP, the triumvirate drove home their pro Asia message.

Both Longhini and Blake have lengthy Asian experience and connections with decades of front line Asian wealth management.

Guy de Picciotto said the bank will definitely be hiring in Asia and have already been receiving numerous unsolicited requests from senior private bankers looking to join the firm. For now they are well covered across the region with no gaps in their comprehensive geographic coverage. 

Not Only Private Banking

He was also motivated on the prospects of producing Asian centric products utilising the deep expertise UBP has developed especially in alternative asset classes. Working closely with institutional clients through the UBP Asset Management business will add another dimension the the Asian coverage.  

The CEO also opened the door for more External Asset Management business. He forecasts steady growth in the Independent Asset Management (IAM) segment in Asia although he did not believe it would reach the levels of his home market Switzerland any time soon, if at all.

While not ruling out further acquisitions should the circumstances arise de Picciotto said for now they were happy to «pause and work on the complete integration.»


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