Belfast Telegraph

Danske Bank offloads its high-end wealth investment business to Davy

By John Mulgrew

Danske Bank has sold off its high-end investment business to a global wealth management firm. Davy Private Clients UK has acquired Danske Bank's portfolio of more than 1,100 of its customers, who would be seeking investment options of more than £150,000.

The deal involves the transfer of the management of more than 1,100 customer investment portfolios, which are currently managed by the bank's investment centre.

As part of the deal, 12 Danske Bank employees will join Davy. The move is due to take place by the end of October.

Davy is Northern Ireland's largest wealth manager, with overall assets under management across the UK and Ireland in excess of £12bn.

The firm has more than 660 staff, including 65 in Northern Ireland.

Richard Caldwell, managing director of personal banking and small business at Danske Bank, said: "This has been a good part of our business for many years thanks to the expertise, hard work and customer ethos of our wealth specialists who have been overseeing assets under management of around £500m.

"However, after a strategic review looking at anticipated future costs and regulatory change, it became clear that the best way forward for our customers was to have support in this area from a specialist wealth management company.

"We are delighted to have found in Davy a locally-based, leading national wealth business that has a track record of strong delivery for customers.

"Moving forward, Danske Bank will continue to invest in and grow its core personal and business banking operations, while offering a wealth management proposition to customers through external providers."

Stephen Felle, chief executive of Davy UK, said: "We are delighted to welcome Danske Bank's discretionary wealth management customers and the associated staff to Davy.

"Over our 90-year history, Davy has focused on making a difference that matters to our customers."

In April it was announced that professional services firm Grant Thornton was moving into new offices at the Danske Bank building in Belfast city centre.

The bank said it had reached an agreement with Grant Thornton for the business to take over the third floor at its Donegall Square West headquarters from November.

Danske Bank was named as the top company in Northern Ireland this year, according to the Belfast Telegraph Top 100 Companies 2017 in association with Arthur Cox.

Danske Bank posted pre-tax profits of £117m for the last year.

While the bank's pre-tax profits fell during the course of the year, dropping by 17% from £141.9m to £117m in 2016, that was largely down to less reliance on so-called writebacks, which is cash set aside to cover expected loan losses that can then be released.

Overall, it saw its operating profits grow to £91m for last year, buoyed by a 5% boost in lending including mortgages.

The mortgage market made up just under £2bn of total lending during the period. Total loans increased to £4.54bn. Danske Bank's Northern Ireland business represents approximately 6% of the group's total profits.

It operates 44 branches across Northern Ireland.

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