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Swiss private bank seals deal to buy UK wealth firm

Swiss private bank seals deal to buy UK wealth firm

(Update) Union Bancaire Privée (UBP) has defied Brexit uncertainty to buy London-based wealth manager ACPI.

UBP responded to press speculation earlier in the day to confirm it had sealed the deal this afternoon, with the transaction expected to go through in the fourth quarter. Financial terms were not disclosed. 

ACPI, which is based in London and Jersey, was founded in 2001 by former Goldman Sachs partners Joseph Sassoon and Alok Oberoi, and has 70 staff on its books. Sassoon is now a lecturer at Georgetown University in Washington, while Oberoi remains chair of ACPI.

The business, which has around £2 billion in assets, is currently run by Brett Lankester, also recruited from Goldmans Sachs, where he served as managing director of its UK private wealth division.

Oberoi said: 'ACPI are delighted to have joined with a firm of UBP’s credibility and capability who, as a family-owned business, have a similar ethos to ours and share our long-term vision.

'Brett Lankester, our CEO, and I are genuinely excited by the opportunities this agreement brings to our people and our clients.' 

The acquisition comes a little more than three years after UBP bought Coutts' international business from RBS.

In a Wealth Manager profile after the deal went through, UBP senior managing director and UK boss Martin Fricker outlined his ambitious growth strategy.

It is understood that UBP, which has some $125 billion (£107 billion) in assets under management, will merge ACPI with its UK business.

UBP CEO Guy de Picciotto said: '[This] acquisition reaffirms our long-term commitment to the UK and our intention to continue broadening our footprint in this pivotal market.

'London remains a hub for international investors, as well as for UBP which provides both foreign and UK-based clients with innovative solutions.

'ACPI is recognised as an investment manager of reference in the wealth management sphere with extensive expertise that will complement the range of services we already offer our clients out of London.' 

The deal will help allay fears that wealth firms are looking to reduce their UK businesses until there is more clarity on Brexit.

It also pitches UBP against fellow Swiss private bank Julius Baer, which has been investing heavily in its UK business


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