Al-Thani Private Bank KBL to Buy Dutch Firm From BNP Paribas

  • KBL plans Insinger de Beaufort & Theodoor Gilissen combination
  • KBL CEO Stein expects private bank consolidation to quicken

KBL European Private Bankers SA, the Luxembourg-based wealth manager ultimately owned by Qatar’s Al-Thani family, agreed to acquire Insinger de Beaufort from BNP Paribas SA and other shareholders.

KBL plans to combine its Theodoor Gilissen business with Insinger de Beaufort to create a Dutch private bank managing more than 20 billion euros ($22.9 billion) for clients, KBL said in a statement on Tuesday. Amsterdam-based Insinger de Beaufort is one of the oldest private-banking brands in the Netherlands, tracing its roots back to 1779.

BNP Paribas will buy IDB Holdings SA’s 37 percent stake in Insinger de Beaufort for about 61 million euros and then sell the entire firm to KBL, IDB said in a statement on Tuesday. BNP Paribas’s shares rose as much as 1.4 percent in Paris to the highest since April 7.

“We have to be sustainably compliant and sustainably profitable, hopefully growing, and that calls for an ever-increasing critical mass,” Yves Stein, chief executive officer of KBL, said in a telephone interview. “Consolidation is not going to slow down; it might even accelerate.”

International wealth managers are selling assets as the cost of regulation and client tax compliance crimps margins. Some of the biggest North American and European banks such as Bank of America Corp. and Barclays Plc have refocused their wealth-management businesses on domestic clients and a smaller number of foreign markets. KBL wants to benefit from the trend by buying units from other banks.

KBL is a collection of affiliated private-banking businesses owned by Precision Capital, the company representing the interests of the Al-Thani ruling family of Qatar. The network includes Puilaetco Dewaay in Belgium, Brown Shipley in the U.K. and Merck Finck in Germany, as well as KBL units in France, Monaco and Spain. Together they oversaw almost 100 billion euros for clients at the end of June, according to the company’s half-year report.

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