Private Banker International
News in Numbers
Swiss private bank Julius Baer has agreed to pay CHF150m ($162m) to resolve a dispute over assets with German agency Bundesanstalt für vereinigungsbedingte Sonderaufgaben (BvS).
In a statement, the bank said: “On 27 August 2020, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court confirmed this decision as the final ruling in this matter.
“Following this final ruling, Julius Baer has to pay approx. CHF 150 million (including accrued interest) to BvS, an amount fully covered by a corresponding provision booked in December 2019.”
Franklin Templeton is set to bring its Franklin Templeton Multi-Asset Solutions (FTMAS) unit and QS Investors under a single roof to create a new solutions business platform.
The merged entity will trade as Franklin Templeton Investment Solutions (FTIS) and have over 120 investment professionals.
The combined business will manage over $120bn in multi-asset strategies, covering fundamental to quantitative.
The consolidation will take effect next month.
Asurvey by Citi Private Bank found UHNWIs and family offices cautious of investment opportunities and risks amid the market volatility caused by Covid-19.
The survey led by the Private Capital Group involved responses from 179 participants.
Of the respondents, 127 were those with family offices and the rest were UHNWIs without a family office.
The respondents were from 103 different countries.
Around three-quarters of the respondents called their 12-month investment sentiment as “cautious”.
The key concern was the Covid-19 crisis. This included both vaccine availability and monetary and fiscal response by governments and central banks.
Going into 2021, around half of the respondents expected total portfolio returns of 1-5% in the next year.
New York-based Merchant Investment Management has picked a minority, non-controlling stake in California-based wealth advisory firm Corient Capital Partners.
Other details such as the investment amount or the stake size were not revealed.
The investment is part of a strategic alliance between the two parties.
Merchant will offer capital to support accelerate enterprise, professional leadership and platform growth of Corient.
Victory Capital has bought a 15% stake in Alderwood Partners (Alderwood), an investment advisory business headquartered in London.
The amount invested to buy the stake was not revealed.
Diversified asset manager Victory Capital made the investment via its wholly owned unit.
Alderwood Capital, a London-based investment advisory business and the operating entity of Alderwood, picks minority holdings in specialist boutique asset managers.
Alderwood intends to raise a single fund to implement its plan. The move is pending regulatory nod.
Victory Capital plans to invest in the fund.
The firm will have board representation at the general partner level.
German lender Deutsche Bank asked its New York City staff to continue work from home until July 2021 amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a memo, Deutsche Bank Americas chief of staff Matthias Krause said that the workers have “understandable concerns about public transportation, cleanliness, security and other quality of life issues.”
The lender’s sales and trading staff have been returning to its New York headquarters, gradually.
Deutsche Bank allowed them to work from home for two or three days a week even after the pandemic ends, the Wall Street Journal added.
The Key Moments in PBI This Month
Robeco to end fossil fuel exposure from mutual funds
Dutch asset manager Robeco is ditching from its mutual funds companies that generate revenues from fossil fuels, as part of its sustainable investing approach.
The exclusion covers investment in thermal coal, oil sands, and Arctic drilling.
Robeco will now exclude companies that generate at least 25% of their revenues from thermal coal or oil sands, or at least 10% of their revenues from Arctic drilling.
Client-specific funds and mandates are exempted from the exclusion.
The company intends to complete the process by the final quarter of this year.
Schroders to launch new investment trust for supporting UK businesses
British fund manager Schroders has unveiled plans to launch a new investment trust, which will invest in the growth of businesses in the UK.
The trust will support both public as well as private businesses.
The aim is to support UK employment amid the current challenging market conditions caused by Covis-19 and also after that.
Schroders is planning to raise £250m through an IPO in anticipation of the launch of the trust.
The trust will target “high-quality, small and mid-sized UK companies” having sustainable business models.
It will seek to offer long-term total returns.
Higher returns drive adoption of sustainable investments for Americans
A study by British fund manager Schroders has revealed that higher returns are fuelling sustainable investments for Americans instead of the positive societal and environmental effects of such investments.
The study polled over 23,000 people across 32 locations globally, including 2,000 in the US.
Fifty-five percent of the US respondents said they prefer sustainable investments due to their more attractive return profile.
At the same time, just 4% said that they will refrain from such investments due to the perception of inferior returns. This marks a significant change from 2018, when the figure was 27%.
Moreover, 57% of Americans said two years ago that they did not have sufficient sustainable investing data.
Currently, 53% of American advisers are offering information on the same every time they interact with clients, which is higher than the global average of 33%.
SimplyBiz ties up with Wealthify to offer low cost digital option to advisers
SimplyBiz has entered into an agreement to offer its members access to the direct to customer investment platform of UK-based low cost robo-adviser Wealthify.
To access the Wealthify platform, SimplyBiz members will not need any extra expense.
The minimum investment threshold for advisers’ clients is £100.
Societe Generale plans divestiture of Lyxor asset management unit
French banking group Societe Generale is prepping up to put its asset management unit Lyxor on the block, valuing the business at nearly $1bn.
The move is part of the French bank’s plan to improve profitability following two consecutive quarterly losses.
Hit by Covid-19-induced turmoil, the unit reported a 21.6% decrease in revenue to 40m in Q2 2020.
The sale is likely to launch in the final quarter of this year, Reuters reported citing sources familiar with the matter.
Automation in Action
The latest companies to use AI to streamline their workforce
Pandora Automates 5% of Workforce
Music streaming service and Spotify rival Pandora has announced that it is laying off about 5% of its workforce in a bid to save around $45m a year. Jobs across several departments are being automated, including advertising, marketing and investment, as part of a wider restructuring to the company in a bid to maintain its presence in the streaming market.
Amazon Restructuring Sees Key Tasks Automated
Online retail giant Amazon has cut hundreds of jobs at its Seattle headquarters as the company reorganises to remove older departments and shift a growing number of tasks onto AI-based software. The company, which is enjoying strong growth, is reportedly restructuring to support future ventures, cutting some operating costs in the process.
Driverless Trucks Replace Oil Sands Jobs
Canada-based Suncor Energy has announced the layoff of several hundred workers as the company introduces autonomous haul trucks into its Alberta-based oil sands operations. The layoffs, which have prompted strong reactions from unions, are likely to be only the start, with Suncor planning to build a fleet of over 150 driverless trucks over the next six years.
Source: Global News
India Sees IT Layoffs in Tens of Thousands
Once one of the biggest employment sources in the country, India’s IT industry saw layoffs totalling over 56,000 in 2017, and is expecting to see further job cuts in the coming year. The layoffs have been largely due to digitisation and automation, which have dramatically reduced the number of workers required to maintain current operational levels.