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Close Bros reported to be looking to sell CI operations

London-based Close Brothers is looking to sell its Channel Islands operations, Sunday Telegraph says

Close Bros reported to be looking to sell CI operations

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Close Brothers officials did not immediately comment on the report, which did not give a reason for the sale.

If true, the move would follow Close’s sale, revealed in October, of its property fund management arm to Alpha Real Capital, another fund management business whose partners include Sir John Beckwith and Michael Spencer. In a statement announcing that sale, Close said it was “consistent with the repositioning of the Asset Management division to focus on the development of a high growth UK wealth and asset management business”.

The report of a possible sale of Close’s Channel Islands’ operations also follows  a Close Brothers decision last year to let go of a corporate finance advisory business to Japan’s Daiwa Securities SMBC of Japan, a jointly-owned subsidiary of Daiwa Securities and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, the Telegraph noted in its report.

The paper quoted industry sources as saying that they believed the "clutch of [Close] businesses for sale" on the Channel Islands "could be worth between £30m and £35m".

Close International Asset Management’s Jersey-based businesses include Close International Asset Management Ltd; Close Trustees Jersey Ltd; Close Trust Company Jersey Ltd; Close Secretarial Services Ltd; Close Corporate Services Ltd; Close Nominees Ltd; and Chrisalis Trustees Limited and Citadel Trust Ltd.

It also has a substantial presence on Guernsey, where a major QROPS business is based.

Asset management division posted ‘small loss’

Last Thursday, Close Brothers revealed its asset management division had “made a small loss as it continues to invest for future growth, particularly in [the] private clients [area],” in a statement of its first-quarter results.

The company otherwise described the results in the three months ending on 31 October as “a solid overall performance” and said its banking division had seen a 7% rise in its loan book.

Close Brothers shares ended Monday up 4.5p or about half a percentage point, at 813p, as the FTSE 100 fell a little under 1% to 5680.8.

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