Azimut’s Swiss arm acquires Lugano boutique

AZ Swiss & Partners (AZ Swiss), the Switzerland-based investment branch of Italian asset management group Azimut, has reached an agreement to fully acquire Lugano-based SDB Financial Solutions.

SDB will operate as a subsidiary of AZ Swiss and will continue to be headed by SDB’s current management team.

SDB was founded in Lugano in 2008 by Alfredo Serica and operates as a Swiss independent asset management company, member of the OAD-FCT (the self-regulatory body of the registered fiduciary of the Ticino Canton, Switzerland), and registered as authorised fund distributor by Finma. As at end May 2017, SDB had AuM of CHF490m (€451m) and tallied four employees.

It is understood SDB’s valuation has been based on a multiple of the 2016 pro-forma net profit, which will involve a restructuring process to be completed by the vendors by end 2017.

Customary price adjustments depending on the reaching of certain milestones over the long term will be added to a fixed price.

The transaction, subject to regulatory approval, is expected to occur in January 2018.

Both the managers and SDB’s general manager, Gianluca Noce, have also agreed to work together to grow the business in Switzerland over the medium-long term.

AZ Swiss makes there its second acquisition. The firm has achieved total AuM of CHF 2bn (€1.9bn) since it has been authorised, in January 2016, by Swiss financial market watchdog Finma to operate according to the Swiss Collective Investment Schemes Act (CISA).

The 19-strong team of AZ Swiss manages 14 Ucits funds and one alternative fund as well as discretionary portfolios for around 90 clients with average AuM between CHF5m and CHF10m.

Sergio Albarelli, CEO of Azimut Holding, commented: “One year ago we announced that our strategy in Switzerland rested on (i) building a local production to manage mutual funds and discretionary portfolios, (ii) creating a distribution arm to advise qualified investors (HNW and institutional clients) and (iii) consolidating independent asset managers and private bankers in Switzerland to grow our independent wealth management platform.”

Alfredo Serica, founder of SDB, added: “We are keen to bring our services to the next level joining forces with AZ Swiss & Partners. Our long-term commitment, focus on performance, high standards of services to our clients will remain unchanged.”

Adrien Paredes-Vanheule
Adrien Paredes-Vanheule is French-Speaking Europe Correspondent for InvestmentEurope, covering France, Belgium, Geneva and Monaco. Prior to joining InvestmentEurope, he spent almost five years writing for various publications in Monaco, primarily as a criminal and financial court reporter. Before that, he worked for newspapers and radio stations in France, in particular in Lyon.

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