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$21B RIA crosses Atlantic Ocean in search of clients

Tiedemann Advisors, which oversees about $21 billion in assets, is expanding outside the U.S. for the first time to better serve the cross-border needs of its high-net-worth clients and add customers abroad.

The wealth-management firm’s new Zurich-based venture, with Switzerland’s Constantia Partners, will be called Tiedemann Constantia, the companies announced Tuesday. Tiedemann Advisors, founded 20 years ago, has nine offices across the U.S., including a Delaware-based trust company.

Consulting firm Constantia Partners, which offers family office and private equity advisory services, was started in 2017 by Robert Weeber, former head of Credit Suisse’s U.K. ultrahigh-net-worth group.

The new venture will help New York-based Tiedemann Advisors target clients throughout the European Union and in the Middle East while offering additional global investment opportunities to existing customers, Chief Executive Officer Michael Tiedemann said in an interview. For Constantia Partners, the strategic alliance will allow the firm to better serve its customers as more international assets move into U.S. trusts, and provide access to Tiedemann Advisors’ asset-management operation, including its impact-investment offerings.

Pedestrians cross Westminster Bridge in view of the Houses of Parliament in London, U.K., on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018. Faced with a Brexit vote she can't win, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May appears to be gambling that running down the clock to a no-deal departure might change the arithmetic in Parliament. Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

Investment firms are battling to attract and retain more of the fortunes held by the world’s richest people, whose holdings increasingly span borders and require more sophisticated management services. The wealth of the world’s 500 richest people is up more than $658 billion this year through August, a gain of almost 14%, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Before founding Constantia, Weeber, 37, headed a Credit Suisse group that managed more than $7 billion for U.K. families and family offices and previously worked for six years at JPMorgan Chase’s global investment opportunities group in London, working with large global family offices.

The new venture has employees who have worked with Weeber before, including Gareth Maher, a former senior relationship adviser at Credit Suisse’s international ultrahigh-net-worth unit in the U.K. Pierre Bose, who worked in the investment bank and the investment strategy and research divisions at Credit Suisse, will serve as Tiedemann Constantia’s chief investment officer.

Weeber and Tiedemann, 48, have known each other for 14 years, and their families have ties going back two decades.

While the alliance is Tiedemann Advisors’ first overseas venture, the firm already has connections in the Middle East. Michael Greenwald, a former U.S. Treasury Department official who worked in Qatar and Kuwait, is on Tiedemann’s business development strategy team, and Dana Smith, a former U.S. ambassador to Qatar, is on the firm’s external investment committee.

Tiedemann Advisors is a “substantial minority shareholder” in the venture, Michael Tiedemann said. “We felt it was important for the team on the ground to be the majority equity shareholder, and would enable them to attract other people of talent over time.”