Denmark's Kirstein splits business, launching Spektrum

Financial consultancy house Kirstein, which also operates outside Denmark, wants to reach a broader customer base, and is now splitting its business to add a new investment services company.
Financial consultancy Kirstein splits it's business. | Photo: PR
Financial consultancy Kirstein splits it's business. | Photo: PR

Kirstein, known for providing consultancy services to professional investors and asset managers, is now splitting its business in two under the names Kirstein A/S and Spektrum Fondsmæglerselskab A/S.

"We are separating our Investments unit from the main business and creating a new investment services company named Spektrum," says Jesper Kirstein to AMWatch.

Spektrum will offer consultancy and management to professional investors, while Kirstein will henceforth consist of the existing Intelligence unit, which provides consultancy services to asset managers.

"It is called Spektrum because you get the whole spectrum of investment opportunities. You don't just get what we have on display – you get it all. The investment services company can act on behalf of customers, but some customers want to keep the model they already had, where we only act as consultant," Jesper Kirstein explains.

Built up expertise

Why are you splitting business in two?

"We are setting up the new, separate company because we want to appeal to a broader customer base. And because we want to offer our existing customers a broader spectrum of services," says Jesper Kirstein.

"In organizational terms it is also an advantage to split the consultancy services to investors and asset managers, respectively, into two separate companies," he clarifies.

When Kirstein was founded 24 years ago, the focus was on consultancy services for investors and asset manager analyses, but with time, the consultancy – and now management – of and for institutional investors has been included and expanded.

Analyzes 460 investors

Jesper Kirstein does not believe that it would be best to drop the original Kirstein business.

"Consultancy services for asset managers are still a very important part of our business, and we have built a foundation of expertise that our customers appreciate. But it also helps us stay informed about new events," he states.

Every year, Kirstein analyzes 135 Nordic investors, in total 460 across continental Europe. Kirstein's consultants pay personal visits to several of them. Additionally, Kirstein every year compiles a market report on pension funds' returns in the market interest rate environment.

"We gather knowledge of the doings of 460 investors. We don't need talent for that, it's simply observation. We get all kinds of inspiration form the investors," says Jesper Kirstein.

Former central bank governor

Precisely due to the risk of a conflict of interests between the consultancy services to both investors and asset managers, a few years ago Kirstein introduced a "code of conduct", setting guidelines for handling a conflict of interest. All employees must declare that they have read and understood the "code of conduct" upon signing their contract of employment.

The code was introduced after former central bank governor Bodil Nyboe Andersen joined the supervisory board of Kirstein as chairwoman in 2014. She remains chairwoman, also of both the holding company and Kirstein.

Jesper Kirtein himself will be CEO of Spektrum and remain on the board of supervisors at Kirstein. Andreas Weilby, who was formerly Chief Investment Officer at Kirstein Investments, will be director of the executive management at Spektrum.

At Kirstein, current partner and head of communication and administration, Anne Mette Lytzen, will take over the role of CEO, while Jan Willers, who is currently partner and Head of Intelligence, will be director of the executive management, making it a two-person executive management at Kirstein.

Close follow-up is more important than strong growth

What are your ambitions for Spektrum?

We have actually made an effort not to specify this too much, because when we look back, we have always done that, and it always slips," says Jepser Kirstein with a smile, clarifying:

"Yes please, we want more customers. But it's important to us only to take in enough customers that we can still give each customer that very close follow-up. So we are not going for 100 customers We currently have 20 satisfied customers, and if we get another two or three new large customers a year, then we will be satisfied, and that's our ambition."

English Edit: Marie Honoré

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