Hedge funds: EFG consumes Marble Bar
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Hedge funds: EFG consumes Marble Bar

Lehman Brothers sells its stake.

Swiss private bank EFG International has acquired UK hedge fund group Marble Bar Asset Management. MBAM, which was set up in 2002, has $4.4 billion in institutional and ultra-high-net-worth assets under management. It specializes in long/short equity strategies.

It is the second acquisition for the private bank of an alternatives house. In February 2006, EFG International acquired CM Advisors, a fund of hedge funds business. Total client assets relating to hedge funds will now be about SFr15 billion ($13 billion) and 18% of total revenue-generating client assets.

Since its acquisition, CM Advisors’ profits have more than doubled, and MBAM is also expected to be a highly profitable business. Its net profit for 2008 is expected to reach at least $80 million.

The acquisitions form part of EFG’s strategy to build out a range of value-added products for its clients. In October 2007, the firm launched a new business venture in structured products, whereby it issues instruments in its own name.

Tapping the ultra rich

EFG International is also hoping the acquisitions will give the private bank greater access to ultra-high-net-worth individuals. The firm has been getting increasing traction with ultra-high-net-worth clients, helped in part by other acquisitions.