The finance industry briefing
The latest news, views and numbers you need to know this month
News in Numbers
Harris Associates, one of the major shareholders of Credit Suisse, has cut its stake in the beleaguered bank by around half by divesting some of its shares.
The move comes in the midst of the Swiss bank’s effort to gain new investors to increase capital, reported Bloomberg.
It saw the reduction of the American fund manager’s stake in Credit Suisse from 10% and to nearly 5%, according to a regulatory filing.
American asset manager BlackRock is planning to reduce the size of its workforce by nearly 500 to ride out choppy markets.
The company, which has $7.96 trillion in assets under management at the end of the third quarter, registered decline in its equity and bond business last year.
The proposed cuts are expected to affect around 2.5% of the company’s staff across the globe, reported Bloomberg.
GoLogiq, a US-based fintech and consumer data analytics provider, has entered into a binding letter of intent to buy Nest Egg Investments for $30m.
Nest Egg Investments currently offers a mobile app that is capable of facilitating the discovery, planning and automating of retirement savings.
The firm provides customised investment plans that allow users to select or create portfolios as well as automate trade executions.
Through its broker dealer subsidiary Nest Egg Securities, the company also offers a number of investment products and services.
As part of the new all-stock deal, which is expected to be completed by the first quarter of this year, GoLogiq will purchase Nest Egg Investments as a fully-owned subsidiary.
Nest Egg shareholders will also receive shares of GoLogiq common stock valued at $30m in return of 100% of Nest Egg and its subsidiaries.
Canadian financial services firm TMX Group has purchased a 21% stake in VettaFi, a US-based provider of exchange-traded fund data and analytics as well as indexing solutions.
The deal, which closed on 9 January 2023, is valued at $175m.
VettaFi develops data-driven platform to educate financial advisor, asset manager and institutional investor.
It offers a wide array of global indexes as well as a variety of ETF services, including ETF trends and analytics, a global ETF database and distribution services.
Snowden Lane Partners, a US-based wealth advisory firm serving HNW individuals, families, and institutional clients, has received a new $100m credit facility.
This facility, arranged by Apogem Capital and Monroe Capital, is said to support Snowden Lane’s growth momentum.
The wealth adviser, founded in 2011, will use the facility to ramp up its recruiting efforts.
It also looks to place itself for sustained growth this year and beyond utilising the credit line.
Credit Suisse poaches ex-UBS banker for group treasurer role
Credit Suisse Group has appointed former UBS Group banker Claude MOSER as its new group treasurer, Bloomberg has reported.
Moser will assume charge on 21 December this year and will report to Credit Suisse chief financial officer Dixit Joshi.
He will be based in Switzerland, added the agency citing an internal memo, which was confirmed by the company’s spokesperson.
Moser replaces Gian Marco Martino, who will become the Swiss investment bank’s deputy group treasurer.
Société Générale names new private banking head
Societe Generale has appointed Bertrand Cozzarolo as the new head of its private banking business, effective 1 February next year.
Cozzarolo will report to Sébastien Proto, who is the deputy general manager in charge of the Societe Generale, Crédit du Nord, private banking networks and their innovation, technology and IT unit.
He will succeed Patrick Folléa, who will retire and follow new endeavours outside the banking sector.
Cozzarolo is currently working as the head of Societe Generale retail banking sales and marketing business in France.
In addition, Societe Generale has named Olivier Paccalin and Mathieu Vedrenne as deputy heads of its private banking arm.
Both Paccalin and Vedrenne will retain their current positions of head of sales and solutions and head of private banking France, respectively.
OCBC Bank subsidiary Bank of Singapore names new CEO
OCBC Bank’s private banking unit Bank of Singapore has named Jason Moo as its new CEO, replacing Bahren Shaari who took retirement on 31 December 2022.
Moo will take on the new responsibility on 6 March this year.
Shaari was associated with the bank for 13 years and assumed the position of CEO in 2015.
Janney Montgomery Scott names new wealth management chief
US-based wealth management firm Janney Montgomery Scott has appointed John Yackel as its new head of wealth management business.
In his new role, Yackel will offer strategic guidance as well as support the company’s financial advisors in helping clients with tailor-made wealth management solutions.
Yackel will also supervise a group of staff that offers financial planning and advisory services along with cash management, mutual funds, insured solutions, lending, retail trading and retirement plan solutions.
Lombard Odier boosts Brazil team with hires
Swiss private banking group Lombard Odier has added Rogerio Zanin and Julian Lage to its São Paulo office in Brazil.
The firm hopes their combined experience will allow it to further develop its presence in Brazil, a core market for Lombard Odier.
From January 2023, Zanin will become the head of local operation in São Paulo as Lage coordinates operational initiatives as chief operating officer for Brazil.
Isio Group to buy Deloitte’s pensions advisory arm in UK
British pensions advisory firm Isio Group has reached a deal to purchase Deloitte’s UK-based pensions advisory business, called Deloitte Total Reward and Benefits (DTRB).
DTRB currently offers actuarial, pensions administration, investment services to various clients and pension plans across the UK.
The new deal will see the creation of a big pensions, wealth and investment advisory entity in the country, helping Isio in expand its offerings.
Following the completion of the deal, a team of 200 employees from DTRB will join Isio.
Besides, Isio expects to earn nearly £140m in revenue per annum and run a workforce of 1000 people across its nine current locations in the UK, once the deal is closed.
The company, which is backed by Exponent, will also add a new site in Belfast.
British Ports Association chief executive Richard Ballantyne, following UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement that the Freeports selection process will see the first sites in England set up by the end of 2021:
“This is a welcome development and by being more inclusive in terms of the number of freeports there might be, the government can now explore how to better deliver on its levelling up agenda without picking regions over each other. Coastal communities are often in areas of high deprivation and have also experienced challenges resulting from the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown so this potentially transformative policy will be welcomed across a range of suitable locations.”
Advisor360° buys Agreement Express’ wealthtech assets
Advisor360° has purchased Agreement Express’s digital onboarding technology and related wealth management assets.
The wealth technology company acquired the assets from private equity firm Frontier Growth, which is based in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Under the deal, Agreement Express will transfer technology, intellectual property, clients, and professionals from its wealth management business to Advisor360°.
The deal is Advisor360°’s first acquisition and was concluded on 23 December 2022.
Fidelity Investments buys equity management firm Shoobx
Financial services firm Fidelity Investments has reached an agreement to buy Shoobx, which provides private outfits with automated equity management solutions and financing software.
Shoobx caters to private companies during various stages of their growth, such as launching an initial public offering (IPO).
Through the latest deal, whose value has not been divulged, Fidelity hopes to offer improved services to its private and public company clients across the globe.
It will also allow Fidelity to provide companies with comprehensive capitalisation table offerings to handle equity ownership and market capitalisation.
Mercer Advisors snaps up Empyrion Wealth Management
Mercer Global Advisors, a US-based registered investment adviser (RIA), has purchased Empyrion Wealth Management for an undisclosed sum.
With headquarters in Roseville, California, Empyrion offers various financial services to family stewards, women in transition and retirees.
Founded by the firm’s president Kimberly FOSS in 2002, Empyrion currently serves 90 clients with around $250m in assets under management (AUM).
Capital Group reaches exclusive distribution alliance with UBS
UBS Global Wealth Management (UBS GWM) is set to distribute Capital Group’s multi-sector income fund (MSI) in Hong Kong under an exclusive partnership.
MSI, which was launched in the US in 2019, integrates four fixed-income sectors.
These sectors are emerging market bonds, securitised credit, investment-grade and high-yield corporate bonds.
According to finews.com, the strategy is managed by five portfolio managers having an average experience of 23 years in the investment space.