LGT is trying to tap into Asia's emerging ranks of millionaires
and billionaires, a similar strategy to bigger rivals like UBS
and Credit Suisse. But unlike LGT, they don't have a prince as
"In Asia I am asked very frequently: how did your family manage
to transfer the wealth over generations?" LGT Chief Executive
Prince Max von und zu Liechtenstein told Reuters in an
"For Asia - where the money tends to be new or more recently
generated - that is a big issue for them to get right."
Max is the second son of Crown Prince Hans-Adam II, whose family
has ruled Liechtenstein, a principality of just 38,000 people
sandwiched between Switzerland and Austria, since the country's
formation in 1719.
LGT signalled its intent to expand in emerging economies last
year when it bought ABN Amro's private banking operations in
Asia and the Middle East, which came with $20 billion in assets.
Max left the door open for further acquisitions, saying the bank
"will continue to scan opportunities".
In 2016, Asian Private Banker placed LGT 15th on its league
table of biggest private banks in the region by assets with
Earnings posted on Tuesday showed LGT's overall assets under
management for private and institutional clients swelled 19
percent year-on-year to 181 billion Swiss francs ($189.71
billion) thanks to the ABN acquisition and 9.6 billion in net
new money. Net profit rose 22 percent to 151.8 million francs.
"PLENTY OF RISKS"
The Liechtenstein family's holdings include Austrian palaces and
a winery, and in 2011 Forbes dubbed them Europe's richest
monarchs. Swiss magazine Bilanz in 2016 pegged their net worth
at 8.5 billion Swiss francs.
LGT is keen to play up its bloodline across the business and
central to its offering is a private equity-heavy portfolio that
closely matches the investment strategy of the Liechtenstein
"It is called the Princely Portfolio," said Max, a
Harvard-educated 48-year-old who started out in banking as an
investment analyst at JPMorgan in New York.
Stable family ties can be a strong selling point in Asia, where
wealth managers sometimes display a Qing Dynasty scroll in their
offices with an inscription meaning "three generations under one
roof, five generations of prosperity".
With political tensions still high and sub-zero interest rates
in Europe, Max is keeping a cautious outlook, however.
"At this point we are on a very promising track," he said. "But
as we have all learnt, things can turn very quickly. There are
still plenty of risks around."
($1 = 0.9541 Swiss francs)
(Reporting by Joshua Franklin; Editing by Michael Shields)
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