* Valartis Group to receive undisclosed sum plus 25 pct of
* Will take board seat at both Cramer and its parent company
ZURICH May 16 Swiss private bank Banque Cramer
& Cie said it will acquire Valartis Group's Swiss
wealth management business for an undisclosed cash sum and a 25
percent stake in its parent company.
The latest in a slew of mergers and acquisitions among Swiss
banks faced with a drop in client numbers after a loosening of
the country's secrecy laws will nearly double Cramer's assets
under management to 4.8 billion Swiss francs ($5.39 billion).
The country's smallest players have been hit hardest, with
higher regulatory costs squeezing margins and forcing many to
seek mergers or shut up shop.
"The integration of Valartis Bank into Banque Cramer
constitutes another very important strategic step for us,"
Cramer Chairman Marco Netzer said in a statement.
"It will allow Banque Cramer to further strengthen and
expand its wealth management business and to create added value
for its clients."
The acquired business employs 60 staff in Zurich, Geneva and
Valartis Bank's parent, Valartis Group, will take a board
seat at both Cramer and its parent company Norinvest Holding
, as well as the 25 percent Norinvest stake.
Valartis Group will retain private banks in Austria and
Liechtenstein as well as funds and private equity businesses.
($1 = 0.8914 Swiss Francs)
(Reporting By Katharina Bart; Editing by David Goodman)