Swiss private bank Julius Baer Holdings on Tuesday said it is preparing an initial public offering for sometime this year for its U.S.-based mutual funds unit.

The move confirms months of speculation over the unit, best known for a highly successful international equities fund with $72.3 billion in client assets, which has little overlap with the Zurich-based bank.

The unit, run by New York-based fund managers Richard Pell and Rudolph-Riad Younes, is estimated by analysts to record profits of $100 million annually.

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