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Kuwaiti investors snap up 23% stake in WH Ireland

Kuwaiti investors snap up 23% stake in WH Ireland

Kuwaiti European Holdings has pounced on wealth manager WH Ireland and taken a 23 per cent stake in the firm, as the group embarks on a plan to grow its financial services business in the UK and the Gulf.

Kuwaiti European Holdings, known as the KEH Group, today (20 September) confirmed it had bought the stake in the listed firm, which - as of 31 May - held £2.7bn in assets under management.

Richard Killingbeck, chief executive officer of WH Ireland, said: “The KEH Group has an exciting plan for growth within its existing financial services companies in the Gulf states and the UK.”

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He said WH Ireland expects to be able to help support this growth from both of its divisions, while benefitting from the financial resources within KEH Group to develop and accelerate growth plans at the company.

This ends a short period of speculation, which had prompted WH Ireland to confirm Kuwaiti’s intention to purchase a stake in the company yesterday.

The KEH Group is an investment company focused on health, leisure, and the property industries.

WH Ireland was hit with a hefty fine from the Financial Conduct Authority earlier this year and struggled in difficult markets, which pushed down the company’s profits as it suffered a loss of £1.8m for the six months ending 31 May.

Earlier this year Mr Killingbeck made it clear WH Ireland had plans to expand, and in June struck a deal with SEI’s platform as it looked to move away from stockbroking to more traditional wealth management.