Davy buys Danske Bank’s Northern Irish wealth business

Deal involves transfer of management of more than 1,100 customer portfolios

Davy, Ireland's largest stockbroking firm, has acquired Danske Bank's wealth-management business in Northern Ireland, which has £500 million (€570 million) of assets under management.

The transaction will involve the transfer of the management of more than 1,100 Danske Bank customers’ portfolios that are currently managed by the bank’s Belfast-based investment centre.

"This has been a good part of our business for many years thanks to the expertise, hard work and customer ethos of our wealth specialists who have been overseeing assets under management of around €570 million," said Richard Caldwell, managing director of personal banking and small business at Danske Bank.

“However, after a strategic review looking at anticipated future costs and regulatory change, it became clear that the best way forward for our customers was to have support in this area from a specialist wealth management company.”


Sources said that the review was carried out by local management at Danske Bank in Northern Ireland, led by Kevin Kingston, rather than triggered by the group’s headquarters in Copenhagen.

There will be no associated redundancies, with 12 Danske Bank employees in Northern Ireland expected to join Davy as part of the deal. Davy has more than €14 billion of assets under management and in excess of 660 staff.

The purchase brings to eight the number of acquisitions made by Davy since 2012, including four in Northern Ireland.

“In common with other recent acquisitions by the Davy Group, this deal reflects an ongoing trend of consolidation and specialisation of wealth-management services in favour of providers of scale with the requisite investment in both compliance and investment insight,” said Davy’s chief executive, Brian McKiernan.

“We expect this trend to continue and we see continuing opportunities for appropriate bolt-on acquisitions.”

While Danske Bank, which entered the island of Ireland in 2005 through the acquisitions of National Irish Bank and Northern Bank from National Australia Bank, retreated from retail banking in the Republic during the financial crisis, the Danish group has repeatedly affirmed its commitment to the North.

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan is Markets Correspondent of The Irish Times