Veritas – Italy is the next shopping destination for acquisition-hungry Julius Baer

Swiss asset manager Julius Baer, which announced today the acquisition of the private banking business of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, has eyed the Italian market for its future shopping.

The interest of the Swiss giant for the neighbouring country has been confirmed a few weeks ago, when the group placed the foundation for a partnership agreement with Italy’s asset manager Kairos.

A few weeks ago, Julius Baer confirmed it will sign a deal with Kairos to develop a long term partnership in the asset management space which will see the creation of the vehicle ‘Kairos Julius Baer’.

The new company will be headed by by Paolo Basilico (pictured), Kairos’ chief executive, and will include assets under management by both groups.

The deal is expected to be completed after the summer, and will include an option to turn the partnership in a more structured acquisition by 2016.

The Swiss giant has also been recently voiced to be interested in the acquisition of Lugano-based BSI, the private bank owned by Italy’s Generali.

Under the new management headed by Mario Greco, who replaced Giovanni Perissinotto as chief executive on August 1, Generali is looking to sell some of its non core assets, among which BSI.

According to press reports, Generali has already instructed UniCredit to find a buyer for the unit, and Julius Baer could fit the identity of the perfect buyer.

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