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Handelsbanken acquires wealth management firm Heartwood

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Swedish bank Handelsbanken has acquired wealth and investment management firm Heartwood Wealth Group for an undisclosed sum in a move which will see the bank launch a wealth management service for UK customers.

Handelsbanken was established in 1871 and has 147 UK branches and over 750 branches globally.

Heartwood has over £1.5bn in funds under management and provides wealth management services including discretionary management, financial planning and tax advice to private clients. Its investment management service also works with financial advisers, charities and professional advisers.

Under the terms of the deal, which is subject to FSA approval, Heartwood will become a fully owned subsidiary of the Handelsbanken group. The acquisition has been backed by a majority of Heartwood shareholders, and formal approval will now be sought from remaining shareholders.

Handelsbanken says it will not set Heartwood advisers any sales or product targets.

UK chief executive Anders Bouvin says: “This is an ideal match at the right time for both businesses. We believe our shared values will result in a uniquely customer-led banking, wealth and investment management service in the UK.”

Heartwood chief executive Simon Lough, who will continue in his role, says: “The Heartwood team has worked hard to build our business on the recommendation of clients we have served well, so partnership with Handelsbanken, which has grown on a very similar basis, is a very natural progression for our firm. It will enable us to make our services available to many new clients in more ways.”

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Comments

There are 3 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Oh dear! This is rather going round in circles. Svenska Handlesbanken had a Private Client proposition before Big Bang. They acquired Simon & Coates a very old established stockbroker. After only a couple of years they decided they couldn’t hack when Big Bang arrived and flogged it off to Chase Manhattan, who in turn unloaded it after about a year when they realised that all was not quite so rosy with Big Bang. It went to Teather & Greenwood and there it died.

    What makes Handlesbanken think they can now make a go of it? I certainly wouldn’t have a lot of confidence in them with this history.

  2. A little puzzled Harry. Do you really think that the Financial Services landscape is so unchanged from 1986 that history is doomed to repeat itself?

    I could’ve sworn that commenters on here have just spent the entire intervening period arguing that there has been so much change that it’s enough to make one’s head spin.

    Plus this gradual build up of regulation for regulation’s sake seems completely at odds with the sudden deregulation of the markets that characterised the time of the Big Bang.

    I rather see this as a company that has previously been bitten, learned from it’s mistakes and sees the present market as an ideal time to correct them. Each to his own though.

  3. @ Fair Deal

    As you rightly say in those days there was less regulation, fatter margins and much more scope. So if they couldn’t hack it then what makes them think that they can now when things are so much tighter?

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