If Julius Baer does succeed in acquiring Bank of America Merrill Lynch's non-U.S. wealth management unit, most of the unit's 2,000 employees won't have to worry much about losing their jobs.
Julius Baer, the Swiss private bank that Tuesday announced discussions with BAML had begun, is in growth mode, said a person with knowledge of the negotiations, and wouldn't look at the transaction as a "synergy story" (corporate parlance for inevitable downsizing).
Julius Baer declined to comment on whether the acquisition would result in layoffs. Industry experts say the prospect of mass layoffs is unlikely.
"You wouldn't buy this unit with the idea that you'd downsize it," says George Wilbanks, founder of Wilbanks Partners, a Stamford, Conn.-based executive recruiting consulting firm that specializes in asset and wealth management. Wilbanks, who worked with Julius Baer in the past when he worked in executive recruiting for wealth management, said the BAML unit is a good complement to Julius Baer's business.
"These guys are serving ultrahigh net-worth clients around the world," said Wilbanks. "That fits nicely with Julius Baer's historic book of business." If Julius Baer does fire some employees, they would most likely work in operations or administration, he said. The Merrill unit manages $90 billion in assets for wealthy clientele, according to Reuters.
More wealth management businesses are likely to be acquired as institutions that don't make money serving such clients look to get out, said Chris Thrappas, a Zurich-based senior analyst with Aite Group, a Boston research and advisory firm. "Experienced bankers will always in be demand," he said. "This is a time when clients are looking for high-quality advice, particularly when markets are volatile and in times of crisis."
FA Hiring (FINS)
Guardian Life is hiring 450 financial advisers for the rest of 2012, and maybe more, if business warrants it.
Trying to Appeal (Financial News)
Commerzbank is not giving up without a fight. It's applied to appeal a recent U.K. ruling that would force it to distribute bonuses to former Dresdner Kleinwort bankers.
Off to India (News 14)
Wells Fargo is shipping some jobs to India and the Philippines, but said its overall workforce in North Carolina, which numbers 20,000, will remain stable.
Why, Naturally (Bloomberg)
Goldman Sachs Chief Operating Officer Gary Cohn says that while he's very happy in his current gig, "of course" he'd like to be the big kahuna of the place.
Increasing Pressure (WSJ)
Credit Suisse Chief Executive Officer Brady Dougan may be safe for now. The board appears to be behind him.
Still Hiring (Deal Journal Australia)
Even though dealflow is practically trickling in Europe, Australian bank Macquarie is bringing on a head of European investments for its private equity group.
Get Noticed (At Work)
In order to attract the attention of higher-ups, you need to strike a balance between gracious self-promotion and obnoxious horn-tooting.
Buzz Around the Office
Mimicking the Dutch Masters (if it's hip, it's here)
Photographer Hendrik Kerstens uses toilet paper, trash bags and bubble wrap to turn his daughter into 17th century portraits.
List of the Day: The Second Interview
You've already clinched the first, now you just need to clinch the second.
1. Reference what you discussed the first time around.
2. Be relaxed, but not too relaxed.
3. Aim to impress everyone you re-meet.