Vontobel sees client inflows at same pace as in H1

GENEVA Wed Oct 5, 2011 10:58am EDT

GENEVA (Reuters) - Swiss bank Vontobel AG (VONN.S) has seen private client inflows continuing at the same pace as in the first half of the year, private banking head Peter Fanconi said on Wednesday.

"We have seen continuous stable inflows," he told the Reuters Wealth Management Summit in Geneva, adding that the rate was comparable to first-half net inflows of 700 million Swiss francs ($760.5 million), in line with an annual rate of increase in assets under management of 4-5 percent.

Fanconi, who took over at the private bank in 2009, said he saw particularly good inflows in Switzerland and Germany, including in the onshore business Vontobel is building up as the Swiss offshore business model has come under fire.

"If you are a fully transparent German client and you have the opportunity to book your assets in Zurich or Munich and you live in Munich that makes sense," he said.

However, he admitted the bank would see outflows of a single-digit percent of assets under management when a deal Switzerland signed with Germany to regularize untaxed assets in secret Swiss accounts comes into effect, expected in 2013.

He said he had not seen clients leaving UBS (UBSN.VX) immediately after last month's rogue trading loss, but said that could happen in the medium-term.

Fanconi, who led the takeover of German bank Commerzbank's (CBKG.DE) Swiss wealth management business in 2009, said Vontobel was looking for meaty acquisitions in particular in its core markets of Switzerland and Germany.

"We are ready to move," he said, adding that a target size was around 4-5 billion francs assets under management.

"We have got very ambitious views on doing an acquisition. We need a strategic fit," he said.

"All acquisitions have been successful in the past. Commerzbank was one of the smoothest integrations in the industry. We increased assets and did not lose any clients."

($1 = 0.920 Swiss Francs)

(Reporting by Emma Thomasson and Oliver Hirt; Editing by Anthony Barker)