The Swiss banking group Syz & Co enjoyed good growth in 2012, which enabled assets under management (AUM) to reach CHF25bn at the end of 2012, an 18 per cent increase.
The CHF3.9bn increase on the previous financial year resulted from a positive trend in the group’s three lines of business - private banking, institutional asset management and Oyster investment funds - and is attributable both to significant inflows of new money and to good investment management results.
Very substantial equity capital and reserves (CHF385m) and a still-cautious attitude enabled the Tier-1 ratio to strengthen further, from 22.9 per cent to 27.8 per cent.
Following a year in 2011 that was marked by growing concern about the level of public debt and by the escalation of tensions in Europe, 2012 saw quieter conditions, thanks to the relative easing of fears that the Eurozone might break up and the European financial system might collapse. The economic environment nevertheless remained generally gloomy, against an anaemic economic backdrop or even a clear-cut slowdown in several European countries.
Despite this uninspiring backdrop, the Syz & Co Group did not remain inactive and continued its expansion, both in Switzerland and abroad. New institutional strategies were launched, as were several investment funds, such as Oyster US Selection (managed by the Kansas City-based US company Scout Investments), Oyster Emerging Opportunities (managed by the Boston-based firm Acadian on the basis of a more balanced index developed by SYZ Fund Research) and Oyster Global High Dividend (managed by SYZ Asset Management). The good management performances of all the Oyster funds enabled the range to be ranked in the first quartile of its reference universe, with eight funds achieving Top 10 per cent ranking.
The stock market rebound and the return of a degree of confidence enabled the group to benefit from a gratifying expansion in 2012, with assets under management reaching CHF25.0bn at the end of the financial year, which is an 18 per cent increase. Fifty seven per cent (CHF2.2bn) of the CHF3.9bn increase recorded during the year was attributable to inflows of new funds and 43 per cent (CHF1.7bn) to the performance achieved. The increase derives from private banking, institutional asset management and investment funds.
Consolidated revenues remained stable, however (CHF185.7m in 2012 compared with CHF186.0m in 2011). Since the increase in assets occurred mainly after the summer, average assets under management in 2012 remained virtually unchanged compared with 2011. The equity capital and reserves of Syz & Co remained very high at CHF385.1m, which provided the group with an excellent financial base and resulted in a Tier 1 ratio that rose to 27.8 per cent at the end of 2012 (22.9 per cent in 2011). Expenditures, for their part, fell by 1.7 per cent. Consequently, consolidated gross earnings rose by +10.5 per cent in 2012 to reach CHF25.9m. Consolidated net income for 2012 after deduction of the minority interests’ share amounted to CHF12.6m (2011: CHF12.4m).
“Oyster is ranked by professionals as one of the best transnational fund brands in Europe,” says Eric Syz, a managing partner of Syz & Co. "Whether in private banking or institutional asset management, Syz & Co is a credible alternative to the big players, thanks to its remarkable soundness, clear alignment of interests with investors and superior investment management results.”
“Our size and the quality of our offering enable us to expand even in highly competitive, mature markets, by gradually gaining market share. Spain, Italy and the US are good examples of this,” says Alfredo Piacentini, a managing partner of Syz & Co.