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French bank hires ex-C Hoare CIO for UK wealth launch

French bank hires ex-C Hoare CIO for UK wealth launch

Former C Hoare chief investment officer Robert Jeffree has been recruited by a French private bank to build a UK a wealth proposition, Wealth Manager can reveal. 

Banque Transatlantique, part of leading French banking group Crédit Mutuel-CM11, has moved Jeffree into its London base, where he will be responsible for developing the new discretionary and advisory wealth management offering.

The division will sit alongside its private banking service, which launched in the UK a year ago. 

Outlining the logic for the launch, Banque Transatlantique said it had seen a growing demand from the bank’s core French non-domiciled clients, alongside an increasing number of British nationals with interests, such as property and business, in France.

Jeffree (pictured) has more than 20 years' experience in investment management and was profiled by Wealth Manager at the start of 2016 when serving as CIO for the UK's oldest private bank, C Hoare. He left the business shortly after its acquisition by Cazenove Capital in October that year. 

Jeffree started his career at HSBC Asset Management, before moving to McKinsey's European Asset Management practice and then to New Star, where he was manager of the Asia portfolio.

Commenting on the appointment, general manager of Banque Transatlantique London Branch Gwenolé Le Blevennec, said: 'His [Jeffree's] considerable experience will enable us to grow a wealth management offering to serve the investment needs of our clients.

Le Blevennec explained why the bank decided to proceed with the launch despite the uncertainty surrounding the UK's exit from Europe. 

'Banque Transatlantique continues to invest in the development of its UK operations, as we remain optimistic about the City’s post-Brexit prospects, and as a French bank are committed to growing our presence in the UK,' he said. 

'The long-term success of the firm depends on its ability to serve global customers by growing the international reach of our services.' 

Jeffree added: 'People often ask me about our client’s attitude to Brexit; the outcome is clearly uncertain but what I hear is that our clients enjoy living in London and the UK and are too busy focusing on their careers, businesses and family matters to be overly concerned.' 

The service is scheduled to launch in January 2018 and will offer clients access to a range of portfolios constructed through using regulated third party funds. 

Banque Transatlantique said investors will gain access to a broad and diversified range of risk premia derived from global equities, government bonds, credit and alternative asset classes and strategies, with the focus on 'liquidity, transparency and cost efficiency.' Rotation of investment style and factor exposures will be used to add value on a tactical basis.

Banque Transatlantique has a long tradition in private wealth management, having catered for wealthy French nationals living overseas since 1881. The bank is present in 12 cities across the globe, from the West Coast of the United States to Asia.

'I am pleased to join Banque Transatlantique at such an exciting phase in their development,' Jeffree said. 

'The opportunity to build a new investment offering, for a client base with which we have built strong relationships over many years, is uniquely appealing.

'With the backing of a strong and stable parent we have been able to plan for the long term and put together an attractive proposition.'

He added: 'Between now and launch in January, I’m taking time to meet with our banking clients to properly understand their investment needs.

'We have no legacy issues to deal with; we can design our investment offering in the best way to meet the client’s objectives and the new regulatory framework.'  

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