Helping clients build sustainable legacies by being a responsible bank

As Kleinwort Hambros' CEO Mouhammed Choukeir explains, there is an increasing desire to understand the impact of our actions on the climate and society as a whole

By helping clients build sustainable legacies, we enable them to achieve their long-term, intergenerational goals.

In order to do this, as a leading responsible bank, first you need to walk the talk. That means proving, through your actions, that responsibility runs through every part of your business.

At Kleinwort Hambros we focus on the four key ‘Cs’: clients, colleagues, community and climate. We help our clients to build sustainable legacies; we support our colleagues by promoting diversity and inclusion (D&I); we make a positive social impact for our community and we champion climate action by reducing our carbon footprint.

Moving the dial on all of these factors in a meaningful way enables us to become a leading responsible bank.

As a wealth manager and private bank, our clients are at the heart of everything we do. By helping them build sustainable legacies, it enables them to achieve their long-term, intergenerational goals.

But, increasingly, clients are becoming more aware of the impact of their investments on the environment and wider society.

Data from the Investment Association shows that UK savers have put almost £1bn a month on average into responsible investment funds during 2020. Added to that, a recent study by American Century Investments has found that 64% of UK millennial investors are interested in impact investing.

We are focused on optimising the positive impact of our clients’ investments and minimising or eliminating the negative impact. To assist them, we give clients all the information they need to make informed decisions to achieve these goals.

We want to be as transparent as possible with our clients to ensure they receive the information they need about their investments and understand the impact they’re making beyond their immediate financial objectives.

Clients are becoming more aware of the impact of their investments on the environment and wider society

Acceleration of change

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated this move towards becoming a more sustainable and responsible organisation. This is achieved, in large part, by establishing and maintaining a diverse and inclusive workplace.

That means creating an environment where everyone feels included as part of the same team, regardless of gender, ethnicity or culture.

As millennials and Gen-Z are fast becoming the dominant generations in the workforce, according to the 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey, 74% of respondents said they believe their workplaces will have greater innovation if management actively makes diversity and inclusion a key component of organisational culture.

Kleinwort Hambros is a diverse organisation, gender-balanced, and has people from all different backgrounds and walks of life, from the top down. But inclusiveness is only truly achieved by having open conversations about how people feel, listening to what they have to say, and addressing their views and concerns.

The pandemic has also required employers to be more empathetic towards their staff and take genuine care of their wellbeing.

We spent a lot of time in 2020 listening to each other about our personal circumstances and the need to achieve a proper work/life balance. Those conversations have been very powerful for us in terms of our inclusivity and have helped us to create a healthier workplace culture too.

Listening organisation

The focus now for Kleinwort Hambros is very much on the inclusion part of D&I. As a result, we have set up a dedicated Culture and Conduct network and Gender Equality Forum to make sure that everyone’s voice is heard.

The big strides we have already made in establishing a diverse workforce and an inclusive workplace culture are reflected in the fact we were named as one of London’s top 75 Best Large Companies to Work For in 2021 by The Sunday Times and were the only private bank to be listed.

The finance industry is also moving forward with the recognition of the need for a more balanced and inclusive culture. As part of this, the WealthiHer network champions the transformation of the wealth management industry’s approach to female investors, and we are proud to be a founding member.

It’s crucial, however, that any progress made is measured against clearly defined targets. As a signatory of the Women in Finance Charter, as part of the SG Group, we have already achieved its target to increase representation of women in senior roles by 25% across our UK platform by 2022.

We also have one of the smallest gender pay gaps in UK private wealth management and a diverse executive committee.

Our work on diversity extends to developing young talent through apprenticeship and internship schemes, as well as a next-generation executive committee of analysts and associates who work on strategic projects to gain a greater oversight of the business.

But the wealth management industry can and needs to do more to improve access for people from less privileged backgrounds. That’s reflected in the fact that almost 90% of senior roles in financial services are held by those from higher socio-economic backgrounds, according to the Diversity Project.

Our role is to embrace and encourage social mobility by supporting charities like The Brilliant Club, which works with schools and universities to support students who are less advantaged to access the most competitive universities.

Mirroring diversity

Our diversity is mirrored in our client base too, which is from a host of backgrounds and has a wide range of requirements. By having a diverse workforce, we can provide our clients with the best team that understands their needs and background, to work with them to achieve their goals.

By having different views, you can have productive conversations and work together to find the best solution. As an end result, you can help your clients to build the sustainable legacy they want to achieve.

A diverse workforce that is representative of both wider society and a changing client base is essential to the drive innovation, performance and best client service and expertise.
A responsible bank with a diverse and inclusive workplace, understands these needs and can help clients build sustainable legacies.

For more information about how Kleinwort Hambros can help you to build a legacy, please visit

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