GERMANY - KAS Bank, the Dutch securities services bank, will expand its institutional market with a German office in the second half of 2007, the firm's chairman Albert Röell has announced.

Though German clients already use the firm's system, "We found the need to be closer to our customers," said Röell in London last night, adding: "We need Germans to hunt Germans."

The move follows the firm's acquisition of the depot bank status in June last year, which allows KAS to act as depot bank for brokers  trading via the Xontro system, an electronic order routing system for the regional stock exchanges in Germany.

Also, Röell said it is "crucial for our German broker market that we are able to provide the proper links".

Furthermore, KAS Bank announced that it has "secured custody arrangements" for the asset management arm of consultancy firm Psolve, at the end of last year.

A spokesman explained that KAS has set up the infrastructure for the custody arrangements for about 20 British occupational pension schemes with around £550m (€832m) in assets under management for which PSolve manages mandates.

"Secondly we will do the entire investment administration for these pension funds with their invested assets via PSolve in the near future," the spokesman told IPE.