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UK Private Bank Changes Ownership

Wendy Spires

1 August 2012

Brown Shipley, the UK private bank, is under new ownership following the finalisation today of the sale of its parent KBL European Private Bankers.

Luxembourg-based Precision Capital paid KBC Group around €1 billion ($1.2 billion) for a 99.9 per cent interest in KBL European Private Bankers – a European network of local private banking businesses of which Brown Shipley is the UK arm.

Precision Capital “represents the interests of a group of prominent Qatari private investors”, a statement on the deal said. The acquisition opens up major growth perspectives for the company, both in its European markets and in Asia and the Middle East, it continued.

Following the acquisition, Precision Capital will help KBL European Private Bankers implement a large-scale recruitment campaign to support the firm’s organic growth. However, Precision Capital additionally said it is ready to seize strategic opportunities for external growth in Europe, while also leveraging its links to the Middle East to help the private banking network expand into that region.

Under the terms of the deal, KBL European Private Bankers will retain the same name, management team and operational structures. It currently has a core Tier 1 ratio of 16.5 per cent, a 21.1 per cent loan-to-deposit ratio and a cash surplus of some €3 billion.

In other recent developments at Brown Shipley, May saw the private bank appoint former Royal Bank of Scotland UK chief executive Alan Dickinson as its new chairman, succeeding Stephen Blaney.

Dickinson, who retired from RBS in 2010, was CEO of the group’s UK division from 2008 to 2009, a role in which he ran the RBS and Natwest branch networks, the mortgage and credit card businesses and the UK corporate bank. Before this he was CEO of UK corporate banking.