Julius Baer acquires ING's Swiss unit

ZURICH: Swiss private banker Julius Baer Group is buying the Swiss operations of Dutch bank ING for 520 million francs (344 million euros, 506 million dollars) in cash, it announced Wednesday.

In a statement, Julius Baer said the acquisition -- which also includes ING units in Monaco and Jersey -- will add 10 percent to its overall private-client assets and double its presence in Geneva, a major private-banking centre.

"Julius Baer is taking advantage of current market developments

in acquiring a high quality, profitable asset with a strong track record," said chairman Raymond Baer.

"The client base is similar to the one of Julius Baer and ING Bank?s employees share the same client-centric passion, making it a true cultural

fit," he said.

ING in Switzerland manages 15 billion francs in assets, with a staff of 310 including 80 relationship managers.