Swiss Bank Reyl Opens London Office Targeting Wealthy Non-Doms

Reyl Group, the Geneva-based private bank and asset manager, opened an office in London to market funds and advisory services to wealthy non-domiciled U.K. residents from the Middle East, Russia and central Asia.

“It fits very much within our strategy of chasing global entrepreneurs,” Francois Reyl, chief executive officer of the firm founded in 1973 by his father Dominique Reyl, said in an interview at his office on Rue du Rhone, Geneva’s priciest shopping street.

Reyl Group plans to increase U.K. assets under management fivefold to 500 million pounds ($761 million) within five years. The business will be run by Ladislas Safyurtlu, who previously worked in London for Pictet & Cie. and Morgan Stanley. He hopes to encourage clients to invest in Reyl-branded funds and bespoke structured products.

Britain exempts wealthy non-domiciled residents from taxes on income outside the country in return for paying an annual fee of 30,000 pounds, or 50,000 pounds for longer-term residents. That benefit encourages affluent individuals to spend at least part of the year in London, Europe’s biggest financial center.

Reyl Group increased its worldwide assets under management by more than 60 percent to 7.3 billion Swiss francs ($7.8 billion) last year, after opening a Zurich-based unit for tax-declared Americans and an office in Lugano, Switzerland.

The firm is countering lower profitability in traditional private banking and portfolio management by generating income from family office and corporate-advisory services, according to the CEO, a former mergers and acquisitions and private-equity banker with Credit Suisse First Boston in London.

Reyl Group plans to report its full 2012 results in April.

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