Popular Securities aims to grow AUM 5-10% annually over next few years

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Popular Securities, the brokerage, investment and financial advisory subsidiary of Puerto Rico's Popular (Nasdaq: BPOP), is aiming to grow assets under management (AUM) by 5-10% annually over the next few years, company chairman Michael McDonald told BNamericas.

Last month, Popular Securities entered into an agreement to buy the local brokerage unit of Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC), which added US$500mn to its assets under management and some 1,750 new customer accounts.

The purchase, coupled with organic growth, will allow Popular Securities to grow assets under management by 10% this year, to US$5bn, and to close 2011 with 12,000 customer accounts, McDonald said.

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Given that few purchase opportunities remain on the island and that market volatility scares customers away, Popular Securities is betting on growing organically and increasing revenues mainly through its "Popular One" model, he said.

Popular One offers customers integrated financial solutions and allows the cross-selling of products such as insurance and retirement plans and private banking solutions, as well as mortgages, credit cards and loans.

The company also plans to expand its Popular One model to other cities in the island besides San Juan, as well as adding more financial consultants and developing new products to sustain growth, McDonald said.

Popular Securities began operating 15 years ago and is the number two brokerage on the island.

Popular is the largest bank in Puerto Rico by both assets and deposits. It ranks 35th among US banks.