Quintet Private Bank

Setting up in Denmark

Ole Jensby, chief executive, Nordics, Quintet Private Bank Photo: Quintet Private Bank

Ole Jensby, chief executive, Nordics, Quintet Private Bank Photo: Quintet Private Bank

Denmark scores big on business but what’s it like operating there as a private bank? Luxembourg-headquartered Quintet Private Bank has done just that. A year after opening a Copenhagen branch in October 2020, chief executive of the Nordics at Quintet Private Bank Ole Jensby takes Josephine Shillito through the process of expanding into the Nordics -- and Quintet’s new office in Denmark’s second-largest city, Aarhus.

Why did you choose Denmark?

Ole Jensby: A number of factors, including geographic proximity. Copenhagen is just across the Baltic Sea from Germany, where Quintet has operated for more than 150 years. Like Sweden but unlike Norway, Denmark is an EU member state, which facilitates ease of doing business--an area in which Denmark scores especially highly. The country offers a clear regulatory framework, accessible regulators, and a transparent and effective legal system. In addition, we had access to a strong initial team in Copenhagen, which made launching our Nordics franchise from Denmark an even more obvious choice.

Were there any challenges to setting up in a different jurisdiction?

O.J.: We operate in a highly regulated industry, so moving into a new jurisdiction is always complex. To take the example of Quintet Danmark, we had to work very closely with the regulator, while focusing on identifying the right people -- who share our culture and values -- to join us on our journey. That is of course on top of doing all the things that come with any startup, like finding an office space and setting up IT. All that is never easy -- even in a highly efficient, business-friendly country like Denmark -- but it’s incredibly satisfying to start something new!

A year after having set up in Denmark, what kind of opportunities do you see in the Nordics?

O.J.: The Nordics is a region where people are highly entrepreneurial, and it’s a part of the world where the number of high-net-worth individuals and ultra-high-net-worth individuals continues to grow rapidly. In Sweden, for example, the number of UHNWIs increased by some 11% last year. The Nordics is also a part of the world where sustainable investing is very high on the agenda, and that is a focus area for Quintet. Many people in this part of the world want to make a positive impact through their wealth; we are very well placed to support them in this strategy.

How will Quintet expand its Nordics franchise?

O.J.: The first phase of our long-term Nordics strategy included launching our Nordic International business in Luxembourg and opening our Quintet Danmark branch in Copenhagen. Our Nordic International team serves Nordic-domiciled clients and expatriates in Europe from the Grand Duchy. Quintet Danmark, in turn, is focused on meeting the long-term wealth management needs of Danish individuals and their families.

Next, we have opened an office in Aarhus, Denmark, and over time we intend to expand our branch network to neighbouring Nordic markets such as Sweden and Finland.

And what have you learned about the Danes in particular? Do they have a unique approach to wealth management and investing?

O.J.: Danes tend to be very independent-minded. So when it comes to wealth management, they look for unbiased advice and access to a wide product suite. They don’t like product pushing.

Danes also typically have a very global mindset, and we see that in how they invest. Despite a certain amount of homes bias -- or the tendency to invest disproportionately in stocks listed in one’s native country -- Danish investors are on average more global in their approach to investing than are their European peers. That translates into a higher-than-average interest in emerging markets, for example.

Quintet has a physical presence in 50 European cities. Can you tell me more about the importance of a local ‘seat’ in this online age?

O.J.: Technology allows us to connect in some pretty amazing ways, a trend that the pandemic has accelerated. But it is no substitute for on-the-ground insight, gained from real-world experience. So we recognise that we have to combine the best of both worlds.

Importantly, many of our clients, especially in Luxembourg, always think cross-border. That’s because a client here is often an entrepreneur living in one country, their business in another country and a second home elsewhere. So you have to organise their wealth around different domestic legislation and, on top of that, EU legislation. Having a 50-city network means that we know how to meet the needs of all our clients, no matter where they are based or what they require.

Ole Jensby is chief executive, Nordics, at Quintet Private Bank. Quintet Danmark, headed by Henrik Wyrwik, announced its opening in October 2020.