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Julius Baer transfers ownership of four units related to Merrill Lynch’s IWM acquisition

Swiss financial conglomerate Julius Baer has completed ownership transfer of BofA Merrill Lynch’s International Wealth Management (IWM) business in four locations including Uruguay, Chile, Monaco and Luxembourg, effective from 1 April.

The transaction is part of Zurich-based bank’s deal to acquire BofA’s non-US international wealth management operations, which was originally inked in August 2012.

On 1 February, the acquirer announced that it had principally closed the acquisition and will gradually move forward to integrate the acquired businesses in various countries.

The integration process of Geneva-based Merrill Lynch Bank (Suisse) with nearly CHF11bn ($12.1bn) of assets under management is underway, which is likely to conclude by the middle of this year.

The current transfers of businesses will further strengthen Julius Baer’s existing operations in Uruguay, Chile and Monaco, while providing a new ground in Luxembourg to expand its wealth management operations.

Commenting on the deal, Julius Baer Group CEO Boris FJ Collardi said with the addition of Uruguay, the company emerges as the largest player in the location, while Chile will help to expand its business in the fast growing market of Latin America.

Based on the agreement, the financial advisors and client relationships of the concerned entities have been transferred on 1 April, whereas the client assets will be transferred in a phased manner complying with relevant regulations in the respective markets.

The acquirer also said that it will soon rebrand the transferred entities after receipt of the approvals of name changes from the appropriate authorities.

The other major businesses in Hong Kong, Singapore and the UK are likely to be transferred during the latter part of the year and full integration is expected to conclude during the first quarter of 2015.

Headquartered in Zurich, Julius Baer manages offices in more than 20 nations globally, and offers various types of banking and wealth management services.