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13 November 2014

KBL epb expands Belgian footprint with acquisition of UBS Belgium 

KBL epb announces that its Belgian affiliate, Puilaetco Dewaay Private Bankers, has entered into an agreement with UBS to acquire its Belgian operations

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KBL European Private Bankers (KBL epb), headquartered in Luxembourg and operating in nearly 50 cities in Europe, announced today that its Belgian affiliate, Puilaetco Dewaay Private Bankers, has entered into an agreement with UBS, a leading global wealth manager, to acquire its Belgian operations.

The acquired business manages over €3 billion in assets, counts roughly 2,500 clients and employs 60 staff, including 20 private bankers. Combining the two Belgian businesses, Puilaetco Dewaay – which was founded in 1868 and operates in eight cities in Belgium – will manage more than €10 billion in assets and serve nearly 10,000 clients.

The acquisition – which encompasses the transfer of the staff, client relationships and client assets of UBS Belgium, a branch of UBS (Luxembourg) – adds substantial scale to Puilaetco Dewaay, strengthening its domestic franchise and positioning it as a top three pure-play private bank in Belgium.

Operating under the brand name “Puilaetco Dewaay Private Bankers,” the combined business will provide access to enhanced advisory and discretionary services – as well as the shared expertise and know-how of two world-class teams – while continuing to focus on providing long-term, personalized wealth management services and openarchitecture investment solutions for its HNWI clients.

Clients of the combined business will further benefit from access to the products, services, expertise and reach of KBL epb, whose long-term development strategy targets organic, semi-organic and external growth.

“The signing of this agreement underlines our commitment to becoming the leading European private banking group with its decision center in Luxembourg,” said Yves Stein, Group CEO, KBL epb. “At a time when the private banking industry is consolidating, we are extremely pleased to be able to expand our presence in Belgium – further enhancing the already very positive outlook for our business and our people, and offering a range of new benefits for the clients of Puilaetco Dewaay.

“With the full support of our shareholder,” he said, “KBL epb continues to actively review additional acquisition opportunities in our core markets and will seize them when conditions are right.”

“Today’s announcement is a landmark in the nearly 150-year history of Puilaetco Dewaay,” said Thierry Smets, CEO, Puilaetco Dewaay Private Bankers. “Building upon our strong recent growth, this transaction represents an outstanding opportunity, in a highly competitive environment, to rapidly expand our team, meet increased demand and lay the foundation for accelerated future growth.

“Most importantly,” he said, “through the combined business, we will better serve our clients, whose deep, individual relationships with our private bankers will prove even more enriching over time.”

René Mottas, Head of Wealth Management Benelux, UBS, said: “The choice of Puilaetco Dewaay is based on our conviction that the philosophy of the two firms is very similar: to advise and help clients protect and grow their wealth over the long term, as a trusted independent partner. We are pleased to have identified a leading wealth manager in Europe as a strong and reliable new partner for our loyal clients in Belgium.”

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the first half of 2015.