EUROPE - KBC Asset Management has agreed to sell its Irish subsidiary to Belgium-based RHJ International for €23.7m.

The asset manager will also receive 50% of a potential future capital reduction at KBCAM Dublin, up to a maximum of €3m.

KBC's unit in Dublin currently manages more than €4bn of discretionary assets for global institutional clients.

The division focuses on three areas - environmental equities, dividend-oriented equities and multi-asset strategies - with a strong presence in Ireland, Asia and North America.
The deal marks the latest phase of RHJ's strategy to build a wealth management and advisory business under the Kleinwort Benson name.

RHJ expects to complete the acquisition of private bank Kleinwort Benson - announced last October - in July, and KBCAM Dublin by the fourth quarter of this year.

Leonhard Fischer, chief executive at RHJ, said the deal was "a further step" in the transformation of his company into a "dynamic financial services group".

"KBCAM Dublin has strong relations to institutional clients and wholesale distribution partners in international markets," he added.

"They are an ideal complementary addition to our financial services platform, leveraging the Kleinwort Benson brand."
Sean Hawkshaw, chief executive at KBCAM Dublin, assured clients his company's teams in Dublin and the US would remain in place.