SWITZERLAND/LIECHTENSTEIN – Financial services company, LGT GROUP, is acquiring fiduciary company STG Treuhandgesellschaft and its subsidiaries from the Swiss Life Group in order to expand, and to strengthen its activities in Switzerland.

Commenting on the acquisition, Prince Philipp von and zu Liechtenstein, chairman of the LGT Group said: “With STG we will now boost the capabilities of LGT Trust to offer comprehensive advisory services in fiduciary, fiscal and legal matters.

“In return STG will gain a strong partner in private banking and asset management. The result will be integrated global consulting services for high net worth clients."

LGT provides services for private and institutional clients and has around 40 billion Swiss francs (27 billion euros) in assets under management, while STG has assets under management of around seven billion Swiss francs (4.8 billion euros).

Swiss Life decided to sell STG in order to “focus on its core business”. The 197 million Swiss francs (134 million euros) in proceeds from the sales will represent a loss of around 100 million Swiss francs (68 million euros) which will have an impact on the result for the first half of 2003.

Swiss Life chief executive Rolf Doerig said: “With this divestment and the repayment of our loan to Private Equity Holding we have succeeded in taking another significant step in our strategic realignment. Providing that market conditions do not deteriorate, we expect to return to the profit zone this year in spite of the loss on this sale.”

STG will continue its business activities in Switzerland under the existing brand name. STG's professional advisory services and LGT's trust services will form the new LGT Professional Advisory Services business unit under a common management.

In Switzerland this will operate under the name STG Schweizerische Treuhandgesellschaft and in Liechtenstein under the brand name LGT Trust. Dr Sergio Taddei, incumbent Chairman of the Board of Directors of Schweizerische Treuhandgesellschaft, will head the new business unit.

STG's asset management activities will continue to operate under the existing name of STG Asset Management. This will be placed under the same management as LGT's counterpart activities in Switzerland.