In the summer of 2016, the Societe Generale Group confirmed that it would be completing its acquisition of the Kleinwort Benson bank and merging this with Hambros, which was already part of the group. This move would create a single entity with assets totalling in excess of £16 billion, which combines the footprint and expertise of both companies into a single powerful business. Societe Generale is a much larger group, and is one of the top 20 largest investment banks in the world, rubbing shoulders with Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan. The new Kleinwort Hambros bank plays a pivotal role as part of the group’s investment banking business, leveraging the combined expertise of Kleinwort Benson and Hambros to provide a powerful, professional set of investment services.
The Societe Generale group’s stated aim is to consolidate their banking activities in the UK, Channel Islands and Gibraltar, and the combination of these two banks into a single unified entity allows it to match the expertise and reach of Kleinwort Benson with the domestic track record of Hambros. In fact, one of the points which Societe Generale outlined in their press release was the importance of local banking, and their recognition that the relationship between client and bank is of utmost importance:
“Regional presence will continue to play an important role in the future of the business with a focus on clients outside of London and plans to recruit new bankers in the regions.”
This commitment to retaining a local presence whilst increasing their market share demonstrates that the Kleinwort Hambros bank recognises the importance of maintaining its customer relationships during the merge, and this is where the value of Hambros becomes apparent. Because Hambros has a strong local identity and client base within the UK and EU, it brings an identifiable company image to the new Kleinwort Hambros bank.
The products on offer demonstrate the position Kleinwort Hambros will be taking up within the market; it will offer a one-stop shop for investors, catering for all their needs. Not only will they provide advice and investment opportunities, but they will also offer opportunities for funding private projects.
One of the more exciting developments is the offer of a bespoke trading platform. This matches up with the decision to promote Kleinwort Hambros as a bank for the digital era, one which can provide flexible funding and financial services at the touch of a button:
“The aim for the new brand is to create a private bank that is as digital as it is physical, and it will build on its existing e-banking services, develop digital and robo-advice”