Geneva Wealth Boutiques Merge

In further consolidation of the independent Swiss wealth market, wealth managers Pleion and Probus are merging.

Two well-matched Swiss independents Pleion and Probus have agreed to merge. The combined business will manage around SFr4 billion ($4.4 billion) in assets and employ roughly 200 staff worldwide, including 60 based across Switzerland. Pleion CEO and Julius Baer veteran Patrick Héritier will manage the new business in Switzerland subject to Finma approval, the parties announced on Tuesday.

The Geneva-based firms said the idea for the union was struck in 2018 when Pleion founder Antoine Darioli and Probus founder Georges de Preux first met in Monaco for a tactical discussion about business similarities and future vision.

There has been a raft of merger activity in the Swiss independent asset management space as firms look for scale and chemistry.

Pleion was founded in 1980 and Probus a few years later in 1984. Pleion has a strong Swiss client base, served through offices in Geneva, Bern, Nyon, Sion, Verbier and Zurich, and is expected to bring certain asset class expertise and strong IT infrastructure, including several proprietary applications.

Probus has a strong international presence. Besides a main office in Geneva, the firm is represented in Dubai, Moscow and Bangkok and is expected to add emerging markets, fund management and private structuring and estate planning expertise.

The new business will operate under the Pleion name and answer to four main shareholders: Georges de Preux and Bernard Bonvin from Probus, and Antoine Darioli and Patrick Héritier, from Pleion. Héritier joined the business in 2017 and has made no secret of expansion ambitions. The firm mainly serves UHNW and institutional clients in Switzerland and Monaco.

The parties said that joining forces would be done on “an equal basis and give the new group the best possible chance of success in an increasingly regulated environment.”

 

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