Dutch wealth manager Van Lanschot Kempen has agreed to pick a 70% stake in Belgian peer Mercier Vanderlinden.

The plan is to raise the stake to 100% by the end of 2025 on a step-by-step basis.

Both the parties will retain their operational independence and their brands. They have entered into a partnership and aim to work together in multiple areas.

Mercier Vanderlinden founder Thomas Vanderlinden said: “By joining our forces with one of the oldest and most robust family-based private banks in the Benelux area, we can work to achieve our full potential.

“Our clients will gain access to an expanded product offering, private equity and credit solutions, while our research capacity will also be enhanced.”

Established in 2000, Mercier Vanderlinden has offices in Antwerp, Brussels as well as Waregem. The business has a workforce of around 35.

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It manages around €3.4bn in assets and runs three investment funds.

The Belgian wealth manager’s co-founder Stéphane Mercier has welcomed the deal, saying that the managing partners will retain significant stakes.

Van Lanschot Kempen expects the deal to have an impact of around 4 percentage points on its capital ratio.

Financial terms of the deal, slated to close in the third quarter of this year, were not shared.

The transaction currently awaits clearance from regulators.

Van Lanschot Kempen chairman Karl Guha said: “This partnership fits perfectly into our strategy becoming a leading specialist wealth manager in our second home market. Mercier Vanderlinden’s attractive client portfolio, presence in Brussels and growth potential under the ongoing leadership of their founders make for a very appealing partner.”

Van Lanschot Kempen has 11 offices in Belgium, with around €5bn in client assets.

In January this year, Van Lanschot Kempen acquired Gouda-based independent asset manager Hof Hoorneman Bankiers with €2bn in client assets.

In 2017, the Dutch wealth management firm snapped up the wealth management activities of UBS in the Netherlands.