(Adds comment from BTG Pactual, background throughout)
SAO PAULO, April 10 (Reuters) - Grupo BTG Pactual SA , Brazil's No. 1 independent asset manager, plans to open a wealth management branch in Miami between September and October, a source with direct knowledge of the plans said on Friday.
The move comes as BTG Pactual seeks to expand its wealth management franchise throughout the Americas, said the source, who declined to be identified since the plan is in the works. BTG Pactual oversaw 81 billion reais ($26 billion) for wealthy clients at the end of last year.
The media office of BTG Pactual declined to comment.
Wealthy Latin Americans see Miami as a key investment hub, and banks in the asset and wealth management business have tried to tap fast growth in the segment in recent years. The source did not elaborate on the size of the staff planned for the Miami office.
The decision fits within BTG Pactual's strategy to grow fee-based revenues in coming years to make profit less dependent on income from trading and proprietary investments. BTG Pactual's purchase of Swiss money manager BSI Group, which was announced last year and is expected to close in coming months, will help the São Paulo-based firm diversify revenue sources on a business segment and geographic bases.
BSI manages close to $100 billion in assets.
$1 = 3.071 Brazilian reais Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Aluísio Alves; Editing by Richard Chang