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Duncan Lawrie to merge private bank with investment management as MD departs

Duncan Lawrie to merge private bank with investment management as MD departs

Duncan Lawrie is merging its investment management and private banking arms as the firm’s managing director departs after 17 years. 

Duncan Lawrie clients have been asked to sign new agreements as the company seeks to simplify its structure. It aims to offer financial planning, private banking and asset management services under one roof.

The company confirmed the merger will lead to the discontinuation of the Duncan Lawrie Asset Management name. This was a hangover from the acquisitions of asset management specialist Douglas Deakin Young in 2005 and Hill Martin in 2006.

Managing director Matthew Parden (pictured) has left the business and his role is being filled by non-executive director Peter Field on an interim basis until Byron Coombs joins as chief executive at the end of June.

Coombs was director of products and services for the wealth management division of RBS until May 2012, where he was responsible for client propositions. He also spent the past two years in non-executive roles at Deutsche Bank and Coutts.

The senior management change comes after annual results revealed umbrella company Duncan Lawrie Holdings saw pre-tax profit fall from £227,000 in 2012 to £100,000 in 2013, which the bank attributed to the tough interest rate environment.

‘The group continues to operate in an historically low interest rate environment which impacts the group’s net interest earnings,’ directors at the company said in its 2013 accounts.

After tax, profit for the year was £43,000 compared with £169,000 a year earlier.

The directors added that ‘investment in the long-term strategy of the business continues’, citing plans for further expansion of the bank’s Bristol office.

Commenting on his imminent arrival, Coombs said: ‘I am delighted to be leading the next phase of the Duncan Lawrie story. Duncan Lawrie rightly prides itself on its focus on serving client needs and on its strategy of sustainable business growth. I look forward to building on this strategy and extending the bank’s services to a wider audience.’

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