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Bloomberg ranks global family office businesses

By Rashmi Kumar

HSBC manages more assets of family offices than any other bank in the world, according to a survey by Bloomberg Markets magazine.

The survey, which ranks the top 50 banks which manage family office money and commercial multi family offices, found HSBC’s private wealth solutions group to be the biggest, with assets under management of $102 billion. New York-based Bessemer Trust was ranked second, with more than $44 billion under management.

The survey also found the amount of money managed by the top 50 firms rose to $477 billion in 2010, up 17% from the year before. It wasn’t clear how much of that rise was due to market movements or net new money flows. A spokeswoman for Bloomberg News told Campdenthat the figures were provided by family offices and there was no information about whether the rise was due to market appreciation or new business.

But the report did say that much of the growth came from Asia’s newly rich – the region had 3.3 millionaires in 2010, compared with Europe’s 3.1 million, based on data from the Merrill Lynch and Capgemini 2011 World Wealth Report.

Bill Yelverton, executive director at global business consultant Scorpio Partnership, reckons that in spite of the growth in banks offering family office services, the independent model stands out. He told CampdenFO: “Independence is still seen as a crucial differentiator in clients’ minds. Independent institutions with a history of serving families will highlight these potential conflicts as a key competitive advantage over the newcomers.”

Other groups included in the list are Swiss bank UBS, San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co and Florida-based GenSpring Family Offices.

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