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Brazil Private-Banking Firm GPS Looks to Double Assets

GPS Investimentos Financeiros e Participacoes SA, the Brazilian private-banking firm partly owned by Julius Baer Group Ltd., is trying to double its 11 billion reais ($5.42 billion) in assets under management in the next five years.

To achieve its goal, GPS is looking to attract new clients and investing in the Rio de Janeiro office to take customers away from smaller multifamily offices in the city, Geraldo Lamounier, a partner at the firm, said in an interview in Sao Paulo. The firm hired five people in Rio and transferred a senior partner, Ian Dubugras, to build relationships with local customers. Dubugras is the former chief executive officer of Bank of America Corp. in Brazil.

The private-banking industry in Brazil expanded almost 22 percent in 2011, to 434.4 billion reais in total assets, after an increase of 23 percent in 2010, according to Anbima, the Brazilian capital-markets association.

“The valuation of Brazilian assets like real estate properties, commodities prices and the new money that enters the country through equity offerings has created a new bunch of millionaires,” Lamounier said.

GPS, founded in 1999 by Jose Eduardo Martins, Marco Belda and Roberto Rudge, is the biggest independent multifamily office in Brazil. It attracted an investment last year from Julius Baer, the Swiss wealth manager established in 1890, which purchased 30 percent of the company for an undisclosed amount to expand in Latin America.

About 50 percent of GPS’s total assets are from Sao Paulo, and it runs the biggest multifamily office in the Brazilian states of Minas Gerais and Rio Grande do Sul. It has 90 employees and 450 clients.

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