Kuwaiti European Holdings buys stake in WH Ireland

Kuwaiti European Holdings Group (KEH) said that it had spent £8.4 million pounds (Dh40.4m) to buy a 23.1 per cent stake in the British financial services firm WH Ireland Group, to help serve its financial services clients across the Middle East and Britain.

KEH, an investment company focused on property, health and leisure businesses, said WH Ireland’s business model and strategy was “highly complementary” to that of KEH’s financial services businesses – Armila Capital and Al Fouz Investment Company.

“This partnership will allow the companies to provide cross-market corporate and capital markets advisory and capital raising services to their respective clients,” KEH said.

As part of the deal, the KEH chief executive Humphrey Percy will become a representative on WH Ireland’s board, the Arabian Gulf company said.

“An important component of KEH’s strategy is to build out a financial services division that can develop a true bridge between investors in Kuwait and elsewhere in the Middle East, and financial markets in Europe, particularly in London,” Mr Percy said.

WH Ireland, which offers private wealth management, wealth planning and corporate broking services, said it would work with KEH Group to accelerate its growth opportunities.

“KEH Group has an exciting plan for growth within its existing financial services companies in the Gulf states and the UK,” the WH Ireland chief executive Richard Killingbeck said.

WH Ireland expects to be able to help support this growth, Mr Killingbeck said.

WH Ireland’s regulatory filing did not disclose from whom KEH bought the stake.

The British stockbroker would not be the first to attract investment from the Middle East.

The majority shareholder in WH Ireland’s rival Panmure Gordon & Co is the Qatari investment bank QInvest, with a 43.43 per cent stake.


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