BNP Paribas to merge private banking arms

BNP Paribas will merge its private bank activities with Fortis Private Investment Management and Insinger de Beaufort UK, the two firms it acquired last year.

The integrated operation will be branded BNP Paribas Wealth Management and will offer a range of investment services as well as financing and structuring for both onshore and international clients. The new business, which manages over £5.5bn in assets, will be led by Ligia Torres, who previously worked as head of fixed income for BNP Paribas.

Torres said: “Following integration of our complimentary businesses we now have a critical mass in the UK wealth management market. This, together with our extensive and unique product offering and the backing of one of the world’s safest, strongest and largest banking groups puts us in an extremely strong position to grow our business over the coming years.”

BNP Paribas Wealth Management says clients will benefit from tailor-made investment products, philanthropy, art and estates as well as cross asset class investment solutions and tax, legal and fiduciary services.

BNP Paribas is a European Leader in global banking and financial services ranked as the seventh largest private bank globally. By the end of March 2010 it was present in nearly 30 countries and was managing €247bn of assets.