GenSpring ready to buy in Europe

GENSPRING Family Offices, the largest US-registered investment adviser, is in “very deep conversations” to buy a European wealth advisory firm, the firm’s international business head told Reuters yesterday.

New York-based GenSpring expects to complete a takeover of the unidentified firm by the first quarter of 2011, Santiago Ulloa, president of GenSpring International, said in an interview. The deal will establish a European beachhead for a firm catering to the ultra-rich.

“We expect to be in Europe in the very short term,” Ulloa said. He declined to identify the firm or give the scope of the deal, GenSpring’s first major expansion overseas.

GenSpring, a unit of SunTrust Banks, manages $21bn (£13.2bn) in assets in a “multi-family office” business, where the average customer has $30m to $35min investable assets.