Kleinwort Hambros: Portfolio construction is ‘form of alchemy’

A year on from the merger of two 19th century institutions, Kleinwort Hambros is looking to the future for technological progress.

Kleinwort Hambros: Portfolio construction is 'form of alchemy'

Overseeing the creation of one of the largest wealth management firms in the UK is, you would imagine, a complicated task with a plethora of issues and questions to be answered.

However, at the end of the day the most lasting decision comes down to a single detail: a new name.

That the official unveiling of the Kleinwort Hambros brand, created following Societe Generale Private Banking Hambros acquisition of Kleinwort Benson’s private banking arm last year, was met with applause from staff was a key moment for managing director Paul Kearney.

He was all too aware of the historical significance of existing firm’s names, which both have roots stretching back to 19th century merchant banking.

The significance was not lost on clients either, Kearney said, many loyal to the old Kleinwort Benson name originally created after a 1961 merger.

“A lot of clients wanted to know what the name would be, a lot of them were quite attached to the Kleinwort Benson name. A lot of them had worked there, we have a large pool of clients that are alumni.

“Being able to announce the name and being able to announce the investment propositions to the team, that’s a really key issue.”

Credited with helping establish the private investment office at Kleinwort Benson after he joined in 2011, Kearney has been at the centre of an acquisition that has created one of the largest wealth managers in the UK.


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