Kleinwort Benson plans £3m tech investment

BHF Kleinwort Benson is overhauling its IT and operations at a cost of £3.3m as it plans to revamp its client platform.

In its results for the six months to 30 June, published today, the group says it has already incurred €1.1m (£800,000) in costs related to changing its IT and operations systems in its wealth management division.

It will spend a further €3.4m based on implementing the new sustem in early 2016, including writedowns on its legacy IT systems.

Kleinwort Benson is also close to finalising “a strategic partnership with a firm” to launch a digital private banking platform in the next year.

The results say: “The significant benefits of the replatforming, including a digital offering which will become available during the second quarter of 2016, are expected to pay back the investment by mid-2018.”

Kleinwort Benson completed the sale of its non-core fund administration business to JTC for £14.65m this week. It says the deal will yield a net gain of €12.7m.

Assets under management at the group were up 8 per cent to €58.5bn from December 2014 to June 2015, with “strong” inflows coming from international investors and new money coming from the private banking unit.

Some 75 per cent of the new net inflows came from ultra-high-net-worth customers.

BHF Kleinwort Benson chief executive Leonhard Fischer says: “We made significant progress in streamlining our businesses with a particularly strong performance at Kleinwort Benson and we saw margins improve across all areas of the business as a result of pricing discipline and proactive portfolio management.

“Looking ahead we remain focused on further improving operating results, building on our international investment expertise and enhancing our client offering in all the geographies where we are present.”