Europe eyes UK wealth market: Ackermans/Delen and Berenberg

Belgian financial services group Ackermans & Van Haaren has taken a majority stake in UK wealth manager JM Finn & Co, while Germany’s Berenberg bank is looking to build relationships with entrepreneurs and family offices.

A majority stake in the UK’s largest privately owned wealth manager JM Finn & Co. Ltd has been acquired by Ackermans & Van Haaren through its wealth management arm Delen Investments, as it plans to offer UK equities and discretionary services.

The deal, worth an estimated €67mn, will see the Belgian group take a 70% stake in the UK wealth manager. It expected to close in the third quarter of this year, subject to regulatory approval.

Through the acquisition, Ackermans will gain access to some €22bn of private client assets in the UK. As of 30 April, JM Finn & Co had £6.3bn funds under management or administration.

Based in London, the UK wealth manager also has offices in Leeds, Bristol, Ipswich, Bury St Edmonds and Cardiff. It employs 279 staff overall. It is expected the acquisition will grow JM Finn’s UK business, with possible further acquisitions and staff added through the large backing offered by Delen.

JM Finn & Co grew out of the buyout of a small stockbroking firm Kenneth Carr by commodity trader John Finn in 1949.

New owner Delen Investments already has subsidiaries in Luxembourg and Switzerland.

In another UK private client business development, Germany’s Berenberg Bank will begin to offer advice to entrepreneurs and family offices after Richard Brass joined its London office.

Founded by former Barclays Wealth employees Fred Hervey and Ross Elder earlier this year, the UK branch will now offer entrepreneurial advice through the bank itself and selected third parties. The family office service will give families administrative and strategic advice without running their investments.

Brass, who began working at the firm in early June, left his role as client director at Schroders’ private banking arm where he had been since 2008. Beforehand, he worked at emerging markets investment firm Montpelier Asset Management and Compass Advisors, where he set up its European corporate advisory office.

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