Could you give us an idea of KBL European Private Bankers’ [epb] strategy?
Since the 1980s, KBL epb has devoted its strategy to private banking and a pan-European onshore presence has been built up by putting the emphasis on well-known local private banking brands. Thanks to organic growth and successive acquisitions we have now become the only network in Europe to have private banking as its core business, a tradition going back 200 years.
With the backing of its network of pure-play private banks in Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, KBL epb offers a response to the needs of a significant clientele across Europe which wants to entrust its wealth to a banker with an international reputation: specialised in wealth management; capable of offering made-to-measure solutions; using open architecture which allows efficient instruments from other financial players to be integrated easily; close to its clients and their culture and looking for a relationship where integrity, discretion and friendliness are favoured.
In addition to private banking, KBL epb has strengthened its investor services by basing itself on the name of the financial centre of Luxembourg which serves as a platform for the fund industry and the financial industry. We have also created synergies with private banking.
To sum up, we are committed partners. In Europe, the private bankers of KBL epb are trusted investors and trusted advisors who put the client at the heart of things. I would like to add that we are also trusted employers since our model is attractive for private bankers.
Your strategy is also based on a Hub which provides services for the whole group?
Yes, we have an operational and IT Hub which is centred on Luxembourg. The aim is to increase overall efficiency and limit risks. The platform takes care of executing transactions, custody and cash management. As a parent company, KBL epb also has central control units which extend across the group (audit, compliance, risk management).
And KBL’s expertise extends beyond private banking even though that remains your core business?
Yes, we are also active in the field of investment funds and the finance industry in general. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is the number one centre in Europe for the domiciliation of investment funds and the number two centre for this in the world. From this location in the heart of Europe KBL epb has developed top expertise in the creation, domiciliation and administration of undertakings for collective investment. This is in addition to our core activity as a private bank. A dedicated unit, Global Investor Services, promotes these services to our clients.
Our experts represent a well-known, solid financial institution, a pioneer on global financial markets in Luxembourg and give our institutional clients access to all the major markets as well as to our vast range of products and services, which we constantly adapt to their own specific needs. From a basket of stocks to a structured product or a fund, KBL epb allows institutional investors to carry out their transactions easily online and in real time. Our sales, execution and trading desks help investors get higher returns, develop new ideas and also simply limit risks by suggesting investment ideas. KBL epb offers immediate and direct access to all the major equity, bond, derivative, fund, precious metals and money markets.
Since KBL epb has a large network of sub-custodians it is in a position to offer custodian bank services to fit the needs of a varied client base such as banks, insurance companies, pension funds and external managers. Multilingual managers set up client accounts, implement operational flows and provide day-to-day assistance if there are difficulties.
What makes you stand out from your competitors in the field of private banking?
Our biggest added value is our staff. We stand out by the high quality of service that we guarantee our clients and also by the long-lasting partnerships that we create with them. We are not content just to manage our clients’ assets. The prime role of a private banker is to take a step back from what is going on now and to look at his clients’ portfolios in their entirety and over the long term.
Our private bankers will not try to impose a particular strategy or product on their clients in the global approach to their wealth. Whether it’s managing assets, structuring or passing on wealth or even optimising their tax situation, our clients will have the benefits of an open and independent service providing solutions – external ones if necessary – which will be thought out and structured around them in the long term.
To become our clients’ trusted advisor, we make the following undertaking: we will listen to their wishes and their needs, establish a long-term personal partnership, use clear and simple language and adopt a proactive aproach to management of their assets and wealth.
Why is the KBL epb model original?
The originality and attractiveness of the KBL epb model lies in its organisation and management model. On the one hand the entrepreneurial spirit of local managers is favoured and each is allowed a great degree of latitude in commercial development. On the other hand, each entity can count on the solid support of the group through shared expertise and due to the range of services provided by KBL European Private Bankers in Luxembourg through the Hub Service Centre. The entities are freed from a whole series of operational tasks and can focus fully on their core business and objectives, providing a high quality service to clients within the framework of a mutually profitable relationship and privileged access to all products and services. This model favours the proximity and respect of cultures and identities within the framework of private client, institutional and professional services.
What plans do you have for the future?
We are aiming at selected and continued growth. KBL epb is solidly rooted in western Europe and intends to continue its development on the European markets where it is already present and also wants to explore new paths in the Middle East, Asia and South America.