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Uruguayan wealth firms plan LatAm expansion after merger

Uruguayan wealth firms plan LatAm expansion after merger

Southeast Investment and Planning Solutions and Wealth Planning Advisory have merged to boost their services to Latin America’s high net worth investors and expand their business across the region.

Both Uruguayan firms are specialists in private placement life insurance products and combined run over $1 billion in assets in these types of products.

Southeast was founded by Alex Bermúdez de Leon (pictured right) in 2011 and offers wealth management, wealth planning and discretionary asset management services. Wealth Planning Advisory (WPA) provides international legal advice and insurance solutions and was founded by Pedro Vargas (pictured left) in 2017.

The merger will be finalized in January 2018 and the group will be known as Southeast.

Bermúdez and Vargas formerly worked for Old Mutual’s Aiva, a Uruguayan-based international fund platform, as head of wealth management of its International Financial Services division and legal director respectively.

Bermúdez left the group in 2011 to launch Southeast while Vargas, who was legal director, left earlier this year to found WPA.

‘There were points of contact and synergy between our companies which meant that it really made no sense for us to continue being separate entities,’ Bermúdez and Vargas wrote in a statement issued to Citywire Americas.

Both firms’ businesses were mainly focused on Chile and Peru and the merger will allow the new entity to expand in Latin America, with plans already in place to open subsidiary offices throughout the region.

Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI) products are popular wealth planning vehicles in the US and Europe among family offices.

In Latin America they are only available in the private sector and are aimed at wealthy families that are looking to preserve their capital and transfer it to their next generation.

‘The benefits of PPLIs in Latin America replicate the same benefits of those in Europe and the US. The key is in the design and implementation which should be both adequate and robust,’ said Bermúdez.

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