Kleinwort and Hambros merger ‘secures future’

A MERGER between two of the longest-established private banks in Guernsey has secured the future for both, according to the chief executive of the new group.

Kleinwort Hambros
New Kleinwort Hambros Guernsey CEO Mike Allen, left, and the firm’s London CEO Eric Barnett. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 16809942)

Both Kleinwort Benson and SG Hambros have been in the island since the 1960s and were among the pace-setters of private banks establishing in the Channel Islands.

Both have, in recent years, been bought by European banks, and particularly KB in Guernsey has gone through a number of changes, most recently the sale of its funds business to JTC Group.

‘The merger puts both businesses on a firmer footing,’ said Eric Barnett, chief executive officer of Kleinwort Hambros, the new business formed following the purchase of the BHF Kleinwort Benson Group by the French group Oddo & Cie, and subsequent sale of its UK and islands business to Hambros’ parent company Societe Generale.

Mr Barnett has spent 30 years with Hambros, including a four-year spell in Guernsey between 1996 and 2000 as its head of private banking in the island.

He welcomed the move, which will see 171 staff from KB join 110 at Hambros in its offices in St Julian’s Avenue.

The integration of the two business should be completed in the first half of next year, though some staff have already moved office.

‘From a London and Channel Islands perspective, I have always felt KB was the closest “cousin” to Hambros among our competitors,’ Mr Barnett said.

‘We were both owned by European banks, both focused on private banking with a London and Channel Islands footprint, not carbon copies of each other but culturally very similar and with a similar client base.

‘There was a recognition of the logic in the deal at the outset.’

Comments for: "Kleinwort and Hambros merger ‘secures future’"

100% Donkey

Good news for the two businesses.

Just can't help worrying about the staff implications.....the biggest logic in these deals is usually the savings in synergy costs.

Island Wide Voting

If the full written Press story is accurate there certainly will be some serious staff implications

171 KB staff will join 110 Hambros staff at St Julians Avenue, but later in the piece it goes on to say

"The two businesses have an almost identical footprint in the islands,each employing about 280 staff"

I passed my 11 plus but hands up,I can't quite match up those two sets of figures unless there is another office somewhere to take the overspill


These directional conversations are going on every day around boardrooms to drive efficiency savings. Are they having the same conversations in the States?

Trevor Hockey


Of course they are. By the way, I have just seen Santa been pulled across the sky by six flying pigs.!

Mr. Whitfield did apparently allude to some savings at his recent seminar, the one that cost us around £150,000 but as the media were excluded we will never know.

Island Wide Voting


Sounds like we will have to await a Shane Langlois 'leak'