EFG International’s Brazilian shareholder said it may dump its stake in the Swiss wealth manager. A spin-off would unwind a complicated arrangement with EFG’s majority owners, Greece’s Latsis family.
Brazilian BTG said it is looking into offloading the 29 percent stake in EFG that it took in 2016, when it sold Banca della Svizzera Italiana (BSI) to the Swiss wealth manager, «Reuters» reported. EFG weighs on BTG’s profitability and is too disparate to its core investment banking activities, BTG finance boss João Dantas said.
An exit by BTG would unwind a somewhat clumsy shareholder arrangement in EFG, which is controlled by Greece’s Latsis family with a 44 percent stake. The Swiss private bank returned to profit last year after a torrid experience with BSI, which was mired in the 1MDB scandal. EFG recently said it would ramp up hiring of private bankers again.
«BTG and EFG are two completely different businesses. While BTG is a fast-growing business, EFG is more stable,» Dantas said, according to Reuters. His comments coincide with the return of BTG founder Andre Esteves, who said recently he will return to the bank’s controlling group of partners.
Esteves was acquitted last year on corruption charges in Brazil stemming from 2015. The Brazilian banker is known in Switzerland because he briefly ran UBS’ fixed income arm during the financial crisis of 2008/09.