HSBC Tops Family Office Asset Ranking
(Bloomberg News) Bloomberg Markets magazine has released its first annual ranking of family offices, placing HSBC Private Wealth Solutions first in terms of assets.

The list  ranks 50 firms by assets. HSBC, a unit of London-based HSBC Holdings Plc's private bank, oversees $102 billion for families in 18 offices around the world.

New York-based Bessemer Trust Co. is No. 2, with $44.5 billion under management.

Seven of the top ten providers of family-office services are owned by or affiliated with big banks. In addition to HSBC, the list includes Switzerland's UBS AG (No. 3), San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co. (No. 5) and Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks Inc., which bought 70% of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla-based GenSpring Family Offices LLC (No. 7) in 2001.

The amount of money managed by the 50 top firms increased 17%, to $477 billion, in 2010 from 2009. The number of multifamily-office firms in the U.S. has doubled in the past ten years, according to Wheaton, Ill.-based Family Wealth Alliance LLC, which provides consulting services to the industry.

To make the list, the normally secretive companies had to serve more than one family and provide the amount of assets they oversee and the number of clients they serve. Those that declined weren't included.

The tussle in the business is between banks and independent firms. The boutiques say the banks are more likely to break the cardinal rule in the industry: Don't flog your products.

"The big firms have become manufacturing companies-manufacturers of financial products," said Paul Tramontano, co-founder of Constellation Wealth Advisors LLC, a family office with $4 billion under management.

Pagani To Offer $1.2M Sports Car
(Bloomberg News) Pagani Automobili SpA, the Italian supercar maker, plans to debut its 825,000 euro ($1.2 million) Huayra gull-wing coupe in the U.S. by 2013, a shorter delay caused by air bag requirements than it previously predicted.

The lag will be about a year, instead of the three years that the company estimated when it asked the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to waive a requirement to install an advanced air bag system, according to Pagani Managing Director Francesco Zappacosta. The carmaker anticipated the agency's denial of its waiver request and sped up development of the air bag system, he said.