SGPB Hambros adds Baring private client business

Société Générale Private Banking (SGPB) Hambros has added Baring Asset Management’s UK and Guernsey private client business.

The merger deal will see the private client division that has roots in one of Britain’s oldest banking names, Barings, swallowed by France’s Société Générale’s private banking division, which acquired former British bank Hambros in 1998.

It is expected to become effective in May 2011, spokespeople for both SGPB Hambros and Baring Asset Management confirmed.

For Baring, the move was prompted by a strategic review of its private client division, its spokesperson said.

It came to the conclusion that the interests of its clients would be best served with the wider range of private client services offered by SGPB Hambros, the spokesperson said.

SGPB, not only its Hambros arm, confirmed Monday 7 February: “it will look at opportunities for acquisitions as and when these happen to arise”, indicating a wider growth strategy. The spokesperson declined to give specific details.

“The acquisition is consistent with Société Générale Private Banking’s global strategy to expand through both internal and selective external growth in order to increase its presence in key established markets,” SGPB said in a statement on Friday 4 February.

It is not known how many staff from Baring Asset Management’s private client business will be added to the 500-strong team of SGPB Hambros, or whether they will retain their positions.

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