A European bank at the heart of Monaco
On the strength of solid European experience as well as points of synergy between Monaco and Luxembourg, home to the KBL Group’s parent company, the bank moved into the Principality of Monaco in 1996. “Compared to other banks in the Group, which mainly have domestic clients, in Monaco and Luxembourg we have very international clienteles. And that same international flavour is also to be found in our teams, because the cultural aspect is not to be neglected,” believes Jean Danckaert, Chief Executive Officer at KBL Monaco. Clients of the establishment total fifty or so nationalities. 95% are European. Over half reside in Monaco. “The lion’s share of our clientele resides in Monaco. They often come from other countries where the KBL Group also operates. There’s obviously a connection. So we provide services to our clients in Monaco, on the French Riviera, and also throughout Europe,” continues Jean Danckaert. In the Principality, the establishment provides information about regulations that are specific to Monaco to European citizens wishing to acquire and finance property in the region. But above and beyond loans, KBL also offers the wealth management advice that is the trademark of private banking.
The bank has a competent team to deal with the increasingly regulated and complex European environment. Its Head Office is located in Luxembourg, at the heart of Europe and close to the decision-making centres of the European Union. KBL is also present in the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium and Spain. Its local network meshes together about fifty cities in Europe, taking the bank close to its clients. “If we have a client who is facing a problem specific to his or her country of origin, we call upon our colleagues in that country. They are local, they know the legal environment and the legislation of the country, and therefore are fully equipped to provide accurate and verified information,” points out Jean Danckaert. Close working relationships between the different units of the KBL Group are possible because of its human scale. There are 2,500 employees in Europe and a network of 350 Private Bankers who all know each other. In-house, this translates into great flexibility and speed of reaction to find solutions to any problem, whilst protecting client confidentiality. In Monaco, the team of fifty is composed of different nationalities to be able to respond optimally to the requests of an international clientele. “It’s important to be in tune with clients both linguistically and from a cultural point of view. Above and beyond legislation and tax systems, there are different mentalities when it comes to portfolio management,” explains the CEO.
With the progressive roll-out of Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MIFID II) pertaining to transparency and the structuring of financial markets in Europe, KBL has made discretionary management, i.e. management by delegation, its spearhead in the Principality. “Wealth management is often made-to-measure. It fits into an overall dedicated wealth management approach – for business owners, for example, who create wealth with their company but who are not necessarily financial market professionals.” KBL Monaco decided to preserve its intellectual capacity in situ with a team working at local level, supported by Group analysts. “Our approach is local. We listen to our clients and really understand the wealth situation of each of them. What people are looking for in a private bank is a human relationship that lasts over time. At our bank, clients can meet their portfolio manager.” KBL is anchored locally and also possesses all of the competencies of an international private bank. This is indispensable, according to Jean Danckaert, if a bank hopes to remain competitive. “Today, with Europe wide open, our competitors are not necessarily banks in Monaco, but key banks in Germany, the Netherlands or England. The competition has expanded and this is highly motivating. But of course you have to be equipped. We are in the happy position of having a European mesh across this business, and it’s our only business.”