Zurich headquartered EFG International AG will execute on its 2022 strategic plan that is focused on achieving profitable growth and effective capital deployment by advancing its business initiatives, hiring CROs and further developing its international footprint.
Underlying net profit of CHF 75.6m was affected by challenging market environment, with return on tangible shareholders' equity of 10.8%.
For the first six months of 2019, EFG reported an IFRS net profit attributable to equity holders of the Group of CHF 31.5m, as a pronounced reduction in operating expenses was offset by lower operating income, which includes a significant negative impact from the legacy life insurance portfolio.
Assets under Management increased substantially to CHF 147.6bn at end-June 2019, up 12.4% compared to CHF 131.2bn at end-2018, mainly reflecting the acquisition of Shaw and Partners in Australia as well as market effects and positive net asset inflows.
EFG has sharpened its focus on hiring experienced CRO teams and on increasing the efficiency of its current teams. By end-June 2019, it had hired, approved or signed 94 new CROs, compared to 39 hires for the full year 2018.
Furthermore, EFG relaunched its domestic Italian business from its Milan branch and expanded its international footprint by establishing a new advisory branch in Lisbon, which it expects to be fully operational by 01 September 2019. Swiss bank is focusing on capturing significant growth opportunities in the Southern European markets by leveraging its strong local knowhow and capabilities.
In addition, EFG is planning to further strengthen its presence in the Middle East by establishing a branch in the United Arab Emirates.
On 30 April 2019, EFG also successfully completed the acquisition of the majority stake in Shaw and Partners that it announced on 13 March 2019. Shaw and Partners is now fully consolidated into EFG. The acquisition of the Australian financial service provider considerably strengthens EFG's coverage of Asia Pacific, providing immediate access to the Australian market - one of the most attractive and fastest-growing wealth management markets.
Swiss private bank has taken significant steps to strengthen its global coverage of the Independent Asset Manager segment, which is of particular importance for its Swiss domestic market. As part of this initiative, it is enhancing its global offering for Independent Asset Managers by expanding its services to include a comprehensive multicustody platform. The new platform is being developed in partnership with AM-One AG, a subsidiary of Expersoft Systems AG, which is one of the leading providers of innovative software solutions for asset and wealth managers. The new offering will be launched in September 2019.