Lightyear buys Julius Baer brokerage unit

The New York-based private equity house has acquired the European institutional equity brokerage division of the Julius Baer Group for an undisclosed sum.

( New York-based private equity firm Lightyear Capital announced it acquired the European institutional equity brokerage division of the Julius Baer Group, a European banking institution.


Terms of the deal were not disclosed and the transaction is subject to regulatory approval.


Julius Baer Brokerage, as the business is called, is led by chief executive officer Stephane Michel. He will retain his position after the buyout, to which the firm’s management contributed 15 per cent of the total capital. Julius Baer Holdings will also retain a 15 per cent minority interest in the company.


Julius Baer Brokerage provides high quality service and research to institutional investors in European equities. The firm covers more than 600 stocks in 15 countries. The firm is headquartered in Paris and has branches in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Madrid, Milan, Stockholm, and Zurich.


Julius Baer Group will continue its asset management, investment counselling, and investment funds for private and institutional investors.


“This acquisition is consistent with our strategy of investing in financial services businesses that are poised for strong growth and that play to the strengths of Lightyear and its principals,” Donald Marron, chairman of Lightyear, said in the statement.


Lightyear Capital is a $2.0bn private investment firm focusing principally on direct investment in financial services. The firm was founded in 2001 by Marron, former chairman and chief executive officer of Paine Webber Group. The firm raised over $750m in 2002 for the firm's first private equity fund, the Lightyear Fund. This fund is backed by global financial institutions in Europe, Asia, Canada and the United States. The Lightyear Fund invests private equity capital in leveraged buyout situations with an emphasis on financial services and certain target areas within media.