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(Bloomberg) -- Vontobel Holding AG cited pressure on margins in asset management as profit at the Swiss bank’s largest business came in below analyst expectations.

The bank nonetheless expects to achieve a "solid" result in 2017, Chief Executive Officer Zeno Staub said in an earnings statement Thursday, adding that Vontobel is well positioned in "uncertain markets increasingly influenced by political factors."

Profit before tax in asset management declined 19 percent from a year earlier to 69.5 million Swiss francs ($73 million), missing analyst expectations of 82.3 million francs. Net income declined to 98.7 million francs in the six months through June from 103.3 million francs a year earlier, Vontobel said in the statement. That compares with an average estimate of 98.8 million francs by 10 analysts published on Vontobel’s website.

Vontobel is seeking to lure clients to its actively managed funds amid competition from index-trackers offered by the likes of Vanguard and Blackrock Inc. Staub warned in February that 2017 would "not be an easy year" with many clients remaining cautious. He also highlighted the impact of rising U.S. interest rates and the subsequent impact on Vontobel’s emerging markets funds. Vontobel is countering "persisting general pressure on margins in asset management" with quality, the bank said Thursday.

Vontobel, which has private wealth, institutional asset management and financial products businesses, expanded by acquiring Vescore Ltd. last year and Twentyfour Asset Management LLP in 2015 and has said it will consider further deals to expand in asset management, the biggest contributor to profit.

Vontobel will hold an investor day on Aug. 31, when it will present its new mid-term targets for the period through to 2020, the company said.

The bank attracted 300 million francs of new money across its businesses, as it recovers from the loss of 15.7 billion francs from the U.S.-based Quality Growth asset management business last year after star fund manager Rajiv Jain quit the business.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Winters in Zurich at pwinters3@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net, Cindy Roberts, Ross Larsen

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

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