Zürich Kantonalbank (ZKB), currently the largest shareholder in Swiss asset manager Swisscanto, has confirmed it is in talks on the complete takeover of the company.
In the 1970s, several Swiss cantonal banks established Swisscanto as foundations, and, in 1993, the listed Swisscanto Holding was established.
Today, ZKB has an 18% stake in Swisscanto, while the rest is owned by 23 other cantonal banks – no shares are publicly traded.
Both Swisscanto and ZKB declined to comment on the reasons behind the talks, or how advanced the negotiations were.
According to Swisscanto’s annual report for 2013, ZKB is also one of the custodians for the asset manager and provides overlay management services.
After UBS, Credit Suisse and Pictet, Swisscanto is the fourth-largest asset manager in Switzerland, with approximately CHF53bn (€43bn) in assets under management.
In other news, Paris-based Amundi Asset Management has acquired the fund and investment arm of Austria’s Bawag PSK.
As of 30 June, Bawag PSK Invest managed €4.6bn in funds for retail and institutional clients.
Amundi said it intended to run this asset management subsidiary from Austria and strengthen its position in the country.
Both parties also signed a long-term marketing agreement, as Bawag PSK bank will continue to sell Amundi funds via its bank branches.
This will be the first Austrian office for Amundi, one of Europe’s largest asset managers, with more than €800bn in assets under management.
Amundi is jointly owned by Credit Agricole (80%) and Société Générale (20%).
In September, the company expanded its presence in Asia with a new office in Thailand.