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BNP Paribas Securities Services acquires the RasBank Depo Bank business for Funds of Hedge Funds

  • 24.09.2007
BNP Paribas reinforces its strategic commitment to the Italian market

BNP Paribas announced the agreement to acquire the Third Party Depo Bank business for Fund of Hedge Funds from RasBank, a wholly owned subsidiary of RAS Group S.p.A. (part of the Allianz Group).

Upon completion of the transaction BNP Paribas will consolidate its market position in the field of Depo Bank services and become a leading provider to Funds of Hedge Funds in Italy, increasing Assets Under Administration to €9.8bio (£6.7bio / $13.2bio). The deal is expected to be finalised on October 31 and is subject to approval from the regulatory authorities and the formal acceptance of RasBank's clients. BNP Paribas and RasBank will join efforts during the transition, to minimise client impact.

BNP Paribas is offering a position to all 11 staff within the RasBank third party FoHF office. Each of the staff will relocate to BNP Paribas' premises in Milan over the coming months in line with the migration of clients' portfolios following regulatory approvals.

The product line and client group being acquired by BNP Paribas is the third party FoHF Depo Bank service which RasBank has successfully developed in recent years.

When speaking about the acquisition, Mauro Dognini, Deputy Head of BNP Paribas Securities Services Milan said ‘The Fund of Hedge Funds industry in Italy is growing rapidly and the acquisition of RasBank Banca Depositaria business, which covers 57 funds, was a very attractive opportunity to expand our strong presence in Italy. BNP Paribas Securities Services consolidates its position in Italy with more than 350 people employed in Milan and assets under custody in excess of € 300bio. This acquisition is another major confirmation of the strong commitment of BNP Paribas to provide Securities Services to Italian Institutional Investors, and to Asset Managers and Pension Funds in particular .'

Alessandro Gioffreda, General Manager of BNP Paribas Securities Services Milan, added, ‘Once the clients have transitioned to our systems the scope of services offered to them will greatly increase to include Fund Administration, Hedge Fund and Forex Execution and Transfer Agency services, providing clients with a truly integrated solution.'

On a global level the BNP Paribas Alternative Fund servicing business has grown steadily for many years across both onshore and offshore markets. Prior to this acquisition from RasBank, BNP Paribas globally administered over 330 Funds of Hedge Funds with a value of €27bio ($38bio, £18.5bio).

Chris Adams, Global Product Head of Alternative Funds at BNP Paribas Securities Services, said: ‘The acquisition of RasBank's third party FoHF Depo Bank is exactly in line with our Alternative Funds strategy of servicing both onshore and offshore funds. This transaction, bringing both high quality clients and highly capable staff, enhances BNP Paribas' leadership position in Europe and increases the scope of our global offering.'

The strategy of Allianz Group in Italy is to have Rasbank focus on its core business of offering retail clients a whole range of financial and insurance products and services through its financial advisor network. Though its alternative Depo Bank offer is well managed and profitable it is not part of Rasbank's core business. The decision to sell the third party FoHF Depo Bank service now allows it to pursue its strategy of investing further in its Financial Advisor network.

NOTES TO EDITORS

About BNP Paribas Securities Services
BNP Paribas Securities Services (securities.bnpparibas.com) is a leading securities services provider to the world's financial institutions, with a local presence in all key European markets as well as in the US and Australasia. With 5,000 dedicated staff in 20 countries, BNP Paribas Securities Services has almost 900 clients, including 8 of the world's top 10 investment managers, and a global custody network covering 91 markets. It holds over EUR 3.9 trillion of assets under custody (June 2007) and EUR 825 billion of assets under administration for 6,125 funds worldwide. The bank also provides performance attribution and risk-management analysis for 2,900 investment portfolios, and in 2006 processed over 32 million securities transactions.

About BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas (www.bnpparibas.com) is a European leader in global banking and financial services and is one of the 5 strongest banks in the world according to Standard & Poor's. The group is present in over 85 countries, with 155,000 employees, including 123,000 in Europe. The group holds key positions in three major segments: Corporate and Investment Banking, Asset Management & Services and Retail Banking. Present throughout Europe in all of its business lines, the bank's two domestic markets in retail banking are France and Italy. BNP Paribas also has a significant presence in the United States and strong positions in Asia and the emerging markets.

About RasBank
RasBank (www.rasbank.it) is the multichannel bank of Ras Group (part of Allianz Group). With approximately 2,400 Financial Advisors, the distribution network ranks # 3 in Italy, where it has been operating for thirty years. Assets under management exceed €25 bio at the end of 2006. Rasbank has 12 branches and 400 offices of Financial Advisors and offers home banking services throug­­h the web and mobile services.
Press contact(s)
For further information please contact:

Shani Halstead, Corporate Communications London +44 (0)20 7595 2436
shani.halstead [at] uk.bnpparibas (dot) com

Celeste Matta-Brown, Corporate Communications London +44 (0)20 7595 4653
celeste.matta-brown [at] uk.bnpparibas (dot) com

Hélène Delannoy, Group Communication Paris +33 (0)1 40 14 65 14
helene.delannoy [at] bnpparibas (dot) com

Ilias Catsaros, Corporate Communications, London +44 (0) 207 595 2215
ilias.catsaros [at] uk.bnpparibas (dot) com

RasBank

Francesca Douglas, Corporate Communications Milan +39 (0) 335 777 0988
francesca.douglas [at] rasnet (dot) it

Patrizia Guglielmetti, +39 02 7216 7095
Patrizia.guglielmetti [at] rasnet (dot) it