Swiss bank NPB to set up wealth advisory firm in Abu Dhabi

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Trainee Reporter
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Swiss financial institution, Neue Privat Bank (NPB) is partnering with the Cyprus-based investment company ALMHA to set up a private wealth advisory firm in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the financial free zone of Abu Dhabi.

Markus Ruffner, chief executive of the NPB, said that the joint venture company is scheduled to be operational by mid-2021, subject to regulatory approvals. The new firm is intended to provide financial advice to address the needs of affluent clients.

NPB, a small private bank in Switzerland, operates through a network of global managers who invest through asset classes including equity, debt, convertible securities, private equity, and investment in real estate.

Markus Ruffner
Markus Ruffner
CEO – NPB

“Even the very large [private] banks, they are not very good in all markets and all asset classes. We have a lot of asset management companies … we choose [partners based] on what our clients need … [and pick] really the best for different investment segments. We are not biased for our own product. We think our strength is asset allocation.”

The second-largest Arab economy, the UAE is becoming an increasingly attractive market for global wealth managers seeking to compete with regional, and foreign lenders, who are also boosting their services for the wealthy customers.

The agility of its model and its ability to deliver a balanced portfolio across asset classes will give a competitive advantage to the joint venture over some of its larger competitors in the region, NPB noted.

Peter Albinsson, NPB’s head of international private banking and its ultra-high net worth clients business stated, “There’s a gap within the region to be fulfilled – to provide really true, independent advice to high net-worth individuals.”

The bank’s partnership with ALMHA is founded on a “shared vision of how private wealth management should be done” in the region, he commented.

The ADGM-based entity will target “anyone” seeking trusted guidance, Mr. Albinsson said. “Many wealthy individuals have multiple advisers to look after them and our objective is to be one of them.”

According to the report, the office in Abu Dhabi will be the hub of the company’s operations across the country serving affluent clients and family offices across the GCC region.

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