South East Asia’s largest lender, DBS Bank Ltd, said it has completed purchase of Asian private banking business of Societe Generale SA (GLE). The $220 million cash funded deal was announced in March, 2014.
For DBS, which is looking at enhancing its presence outside its home market, the buyout assumes significance as Asia-Pacific region is set to overtake North America in having highest number of millionaires. A recent World Wealth report by Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management, said number of millionaires in Asia-Pacific grew 7.3% last year, the fastest globally, to reach 4.32 million individuals, just 10,000 behind North America.
According to Knight Frank LLP, Singapore will leapfrog Tokyo to become the Asian city that has most ultra-rich people within a decade.
“DBS Private Bank and Societe Generale Private Banking Asia (SGPB Asia) are highly complementary in terms of clients, geographical coverage as well as product and service offerings. The completion of the acquisition significantly increases the scale of DBS’ wealth management business and strengthens the bank’s position as a leading wealth manager in Asia,” DBS said in a statement.
The majority of employees from SGPB Asia, including management and relationship managers, will be moving over to DBS.
Post the buyout, DBS said it has S$88 billion in high-net-worth assets under management, while its assets under management for all wealth customers has risen to S$ 129 billion.
Singapore’s leading bank had earlier said it hoped to retain Societe Generale clients who had about $10 billion of assets.
Tan Su Shan, Group Head of Consumer Banking & Wealth Management of DBS, said, “The growth of our wealth management business has been robust and sustainable, reflecting the confidence clients have in us. Today, we are already among the top ten private banks in Asia and the SGPB Asia acquisition further signifies our coming of age. With access to new clients and strong, experienced teams, this acquisition takes our business to the next level and will enable us to access products and capabilities beyond Asia. We are very excited about this deal and look forward to welcoming our new colleagues and clients to the expanded DBS family.”
DBS Private Bank and Societe Generale Private Banking have also entered into collaboration agreements. This will enable Societe Generale clients to have access to DBS Private Bank’s offerings in Asia while DBS clients may benefit from Societe Generale Private Banking’s offerings in Europe as well as have access to a range of markets solutions designed by Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Banking, the company added in a statement.