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UBS Buys Majority Stake in Brazilian Multi-Family Office

By Kathleen Leahy

UBS Buys Majority Stake in Brazilian Multi-Family OfficeAs of this month, Switzerland's UBS Group has agreed to buy a majority stake in Consenso Investimentos Ltda, Brazil's largest independent multi-family office, a confident move in a turbulent time for the South American country. News of the acquisition came on Tuesday as Brazil's president, Michel Temer, was facing calls to resign amid a worsening political crisis.

The UBS/Consenso deal is expected to close towards the beginning of Q3, subject to approvals, according to a statement from UBS. Terms of the deal, including price, weren't given. The combined business "will be run jointly by UBS executives and Consenso's founding partners", the statement added. Formed in 2003, Consenso has assets under management of more than 20bn reais (USD $6bn), a testament to their well-established foundation. Clearly, UBS saw the value in cutting a deal with the firm.

Consenso founding partner Luiz Borges said he and his colleagues believe that they will be able to "significantly enhance our value proposition and widen our appeal to a larger number of private clients in the country" by joining forces with UBS, which has been operating in Brazil since 1960 and currently employs around 250 staff there. This move gives the new entity greater clout on an international scale, and raises awareness in the multi-family office space.

Borges stressed that the plan was to maintain the "successful open-platform strategy currently run by both firms in Brazil", which, he noted, would appeal to the newly-formed joint entity's numerous private clients.

Alejandro Velez, head of Latin American wealth management at UBS, noted that UBS will, as a result of the Consenso deal, now be able to “accelerate its expansion in Brazil", while at the same time demonstrating its "longstanding commitment to growing our wealth management business in this key market.”In 2013, UBS acquired another Brazilian financial services business, Link Investimentos, a brokerage that is now said to be the country's largest broker-dealer by equity and derivatives-trading volume. The deal serves to enhance both UBS and the family office space in Brazil as well as internationally.

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by Kathleen Leahy

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