CZECH REPUBLIC – ABN Amro has sold its Czech asset management outfit to two Prague-based firms for an undisclosed amount.

“It didn’t fit into our strategy,” said an ABN Amro spokesperson.

ABN Amro Asset Management was sold in a 60/40 split to Atlantik FT and Kilcullen Kapital Partners to create a new venture called Atlantik-Kilcullen.

Atlantik is an independent securities broker with strategic ties to US brokerage agency Auerbach Grayson & Co. Kilcullen is an investment management and advisory company with operations in Central Europe, Ireland, the UK and Slovakia.

Local industry sources note that the Dutch bank established a considerable presence in the Czech market in the 1990s, establishing an asset management business and a third-pillar pension fund. It also established close co-operation with local asset managers.

The pension fund gained between 100,000 and 200,000 clients with some CZK7bn (€313m) in assets under management.

But it failed to reach a size where ABN Amro could reasonably expect it to survive in the market or grow to a profitable-enough size over the medium term.

Consequently, the pension fund was sold to the PPF financial group two years ago. Having lost the pension fund, ABN Amro lost the pension fund’s asset management business.

Sources told IPE that asset managers have faced a tight market since that time.

Brno-based Atlantik-Kilcullen is headed by chief executive Vratislav Svoboda. The chief investment officer is Petr Posker. There is a 20-strong team with four professionals under Posker’s leadership.

The firm specialises in a variety of asset classes, including equity, fixed income, commodity and real estate.

According to Posker, ABN Amro still provides certain banking and treasury services.