Michael Benz to Join from UBS as Head of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Asia Pacific
Hong Kong, September 7, 2010 : Bank of America today announced that Michael Benz will join the group as head of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Asia Pacific. In this role, Michael will be responsible for managing all aspects of wealth management and private banking in the region and strengthening the product, service and capabilities available to clients. Michael, who will start in the first quarter of 2011, will report to Sallie Krawcheck, president of Bank of America Global Wealth & Investment Management, and to Brian Brille, president of Bank of America Merrill Lynch Asia Pacific. He succeeds Antony Hung, who announced his plans to retire last week. Wilson So, head of North Asia Global Wealth Management, will serve on an interim basis as head of Merrill Lynch Asia Pacific Wealth Management.
Michael will join from UBS, where he has worked in investment banking, asset management and wealth management in Switzerland, Singapore, Tokyo and Hong Kong since 1993. He moved to Hong Kong in 2003 as Asia Pacific head of Products & Services. Earlier this year, Michael also assumed responsibility for UBS's newly created Investment Products and Services unit in Asia Pacific.
"Michael will be a tremendous addition to the management team," said Sallie Krawcheck. "With his proven track record for developing and running market-leading platforms, and his in-depth regional knowledge and experience, Michael will be able to deliver the highest quality products and services to our clients in Asia Pacific."
Michael was born and educated in Switzerland, gaining a Masters degree in Business Studies in Banking and Capital Markets from the St. Gallen Business School. He also has a PhD in Financial Economics from the University of St. Gallen for Business Administration, Law and Social Sciences.
"The unprecedented rate of wealth creation in the Asia Pacific Region means our wealth management business is of critical strategic importance to us," said Brian Brille, president of Bank of America Merrill Lynch Asia Pacific. "Bank of America Merrill Lynch's full-service platform is well positioned to offer tailored solutions to both our corporate and our individual clients in the region."
Asia Pacific economies continue to grow at a fast pace and the creation of wealth is rising in step. The wealth of Asia Pacific High Net Worth Individuals stood at $9.7 trillion at the end of 2009, up 30.9% on a year earlier and above the $9.5 trillion held by Europe's HNWIs, according to the Merrill Lynch CapGemini 2010 World Wealth Report. For the first time ever, the HNWI population in Asia Pacific was as large as that of Europe, at 3 million.
About Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management
Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management (GWM) is a leading provider of comprehensive wealth management and investment services for individuals and businesses globally. With more than 15,000 Financial Advisors and approximately $1.4 trillion in client assets as of June 30, 2010, it is among the largest businesses of its kind in the world. More than two-thirds of GWM relationships are with clients who have a net worth of $1 million or more. Within GWM, the Private Banking & Investment Group provides tailored solutions to ultra high net worth clients, offering both the intimacy of a boutique and the resources of a premier global financial services company. These clients are served by more than 160 Private Wealth Advisor teams, along with experts in areas such as investment management, concentrated stock management and intergenerational wealth transfer strategies. Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management is part of Bank of America Corporation.