Brazil’s BTG Open to More Swiss Private-Banking Acquisitions
(Bloomberg) — Grupo BTG Pactual, the only publicly traded investment bank in Brazil, said it’s willing to consider more acquisitions in Switzerland after completing the purchase of BSI, the Swiss private-banking unit of Assicurazioni Generali SpA.
“We are looking. We are always looking,” Renato Cohn, a BTG partner and member of BSI’s executive board, said Tuesday in a telephone interview from Lugano, Switzerland, after the Sao Paulo-based firm announced the completion of the BSI transaction. “The Swiss bank consolidation process will continue, and we want to be part of that consolidation process.”
Some Swiss private banks are struggling with rising costs and a crackdown against undeclared offshore accounts, with several facing U.S. criminal investigations related to tax probes. The consolidation of the European private-banking industry is inevitable as higher costs cut into profitability, McKinsey & Co. said in a study published Monday.
“We are focused on the integration of BSI, while we look into buying opportunities,” Cohn said.
BTG completed the acquisition of Lugano-based BSI for 1.25 billion Swiss francs ($1.28 billion), the Brazilian firm said in a statement. The transaction will boost assets under management to $186.5 billion from $99 billion. BTG, which will maintain the BSI brand name, said its fee income on a pro-forma basis would be $2 billion with the acquisition, up from $1 billion before the deal.