LGT Wealth India

The top royal for one of the world’s smallest nations heads a multibillion-dollar dynasty dating back almost 1,000 years that’s endured through wars, floods and scandals.

Europe's richest royal family builds nearly $300 billion finance empire

Business Standard, 29th September 2023

The top royal for one of the world’s smallest nations heads a multibillion-dollar dynasty dating back almost 1,000 years that’s endured through wars, floods and scandals.

Today, the finance empire behind Liechtenstein’s Prince Hans Adam II is flourishing from its main area of expertise: managing money for the world’s superrich.

LGT Group, the royal family’s private banking and asset management firm, reported record assets under management last mon­th of almost 306 billion Swiss francs ($334 billion) as of June 30, a 6 per cent increase since the end of last year. The Vaduz-based firm this month closed on the purchase of Abrdn Plc’s discretionary fund management business in the UK and Jersey, adding to at least three other external investments since 2021.

“We continue to look,” Olivier de Perregaux, 58, chief executive officer of LGT Private Banking, said in a recent interview. “We are, however, primarily focusing on organic growth.”

Doubled AUM
LGT’s rapid growth mirrors a comeback of sorts for Liechtenstein, a tiny Alpine nation of 39,000 inha­bitants that once ranked among the world’s most notorious tax havens.

The century-old firm more than doubled assets under management and operating income in the past decade, rebo­unding from its business spluttering after the US and other nations targeted offshore financial centres following the 2008 financial crisis. LGT is among the firms poaching Credit Suisse staff after the Zurich-based lender collap­sed and was acquired by UBS Group AG, helping to boost its headcount to about 5,000. In August, former Credit Suisse executive Ajay Punjabi joined LGT’s India wealth unit.

The prince, LGT’s sole beneficiary, is now the world’s 215-richest person with a fortune of about $9.2 billion — 71 spots higher than at the start of this year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Oldest fortune
Unlike other European monarchs, such as Britain’s King Charles III, the prince owns his family’s most valu­able assets personally, making it the oldest fortune on Bloomberg’s wealth ranking.

The prince and his family’s wealth originated with land acquired in the 12th century that at one point spread across a wide swath of what’s now Germany, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic.