Indosuez set to grow Asia business with CIC acquisition

More wealth management consolidation is afoot in the region, with Indosuez Wealth Management looking to acquire the private banking business of Credit Industriel et Commercial (CIC) in Singapore and Hong Kong .

In recent years, many outfits, including ABN Amro, Societe Generale Private Banking, Barclays Wealth, ANZ and National Australia Bank, have hived off their Asian wealth units.

French financial services firm CIC said yesterday it has entered into exclusive discussions to sell its private banking activities in Singapore and Hong Kong to Indosuez, a unit of Credit Agricole.

"The transaction would enable CIC's private banking platform, staff and clients to build on the existing momentum to grow to the next level of development and broaden the existing offer of services," CIC noted in the statement.

The move is set to enhance Indosuez's footprint in Asia and is in line with its strategic priorities to accelerate growth in key markets, it said in a separate note yesterday.

Mr Pierre Masclet, chief executive of Indosuez Wealth Management Asia, said: "This important step would be a new chapter for Indosuez's Asia presence and demonstrates our clear commitment and ambition to accelerate our development in the region."

Strong growth and rapid wealth creation in Asia have made the region a key market for wealth management services. A recent study by Boston Consulting Group found that Singapore and Hong Kong combined will hold as much overseas wealth as Switzerland in four years.

Both CIC and Indosuez are relatively small players in the private banking business in Asia, falling outside of Asian Private Banker's league table of top 20 banks by assets under management last year.

UBS Wealth Management came out top, followed by Citi and Credit Suisse Private Banking.

The CIC-Indosuez transaction is expected to be finalised by the end of the year. Indosuez said it will work closely with CIC to ensure a smooth process for both the transaction and the transition of clients and employees.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 17, 2017, with the headline 'Indosuez set to grow Asia business with CIC acquisition'. Print Edition | Subscribe