Under Vontobel, the Swiss Financial Advisers is expected to continue providing customised investment solutions to US-based clients


Vontobel wealth management offices, St. Gallen. (Credit: Matti Blume/Wikipedia.)

Swiss private bank Vontobel has signed an agreement to acquire UBS Swiss Financial Advisers (SFA), a subsidiary of UBS, to boost its offering for US clients.

SFA is an SEC-registered investment advisor and FINMA-licensed securities firm, with CHF7.2bn ($7.8bn) in assets under management as of 30 September 2021.

It offers investment management, retirement planning, estate planning, wealth and tax management, and consulting services to US investors.

Vontobel offers wealth management investment solutions for qualified wealth management clients in North America, through its Vontobel Swiss Wealth Advisors (VSWA) unit.

With the acquisition, the company is enabled to further strengthen its platform, provide clients with a global investment approach, and geographic diversification.

The transaction is expected to complete in the third quarter of 2022, subject to regulatory approvals.

UBS global wealth management co-president and UBS Americas president Tom Naratil said: “We are pleased to partner with Vontobel, a leading global investment firm that’s client-focused and committed to excellence.

“This acquisition not only ensures UBS’s US clients continue to have access to a Swiss-based money management firm, but it also simplifies our business structure and enables us to focus on core activities with scale in line with our strategic priorities.”

Upon closing of the transaction, Vontobel is expected to combine SFA and VSWA, and the combined unit would have more than CHF10bn in assets under management.

UBS would continue to refer its clients to SFA.

Together with its SEC licensed entities, Vontobel is expected to become the largest wealth manager in Switzerland, to serve US investors.

The company intends to fully fund the transaction with available cash on hand, covered by its robust CET1 and Tier 1 capital ratios.

It has been present in the US as an asset manager and has been expanding its business with operations in New York, Geneva and Zurich, for more than a decade.

In 2019, Vontobel has acquired Lombard Odier’s US client portfolio and recently, has announced its plans to open a new office location in Miami, US.

Vontobel wealth management global head and VSWA chairman Georg Schubiger said: “This transaction is reflective of our confidence in the US market and our ongoing strategic growth efforts in the region.

“This is a major step toward making Vontobel a global name that serves sophisticated clients around the world and builds toward our goal of increasing US client revenue and overall assets under management.”