A modern vision, gained from over 200 years of experience.
For over 200 years, we’ve been working with our clients to preserve and enhance their wealth. By getting to know you and your family, we’re perfectly placed to adapt as your needs change over time. This is just one of the reasons many of our clients have trusted us for generations.
Brown Shipley is a UK authorised private bank and a member of KBL European Private Bankers. We continue to offer fully integrated wealth planning, investment management and lending services, combining good old-fashioned values with the flair and creativity of modern thinking.
Being part of the KBL Group means we’ve got scale, security and a truly global outlook to add to our already strong foundations. Together, we form a boutique of private banks and wealth managers operating across 50 European cities, which together manage over €65bn of assets (as at 31 December 2017).
Irish merchant Alexander Brown sets up an import-export business in Baltimore, and in 1810 his son William Brown establishes William Brown & Co. in Liverpool.
William Brown is joined by a new partner, Joseph Shipley. Together, they finance shipping merchants, pioneering payment via ‘Letters of Credit’. The now familiar reputation for honesty, integrity and reliability grows.
The firm, now known as Brown Shipley & Co., reach transactions of £10m a year, while weathering financial instability that causes many other merchants to fail. They expand their shipping interests with their own ships and warehouses.
The American Civil War forces a shift in business focus towards merchant banking, which rapidly expands. There is also a physical shift, with London becoming the primary base for Brown Shipley & Co., now renowned for acceptance of credits, foreign exchange and deposit banking. To this day, we remain at the same location, at the heart of the financial world, next to the Bank of England.
Sir William Brown becomes appointed High Sheriff of Liverpool, an MP and a campaigner for free trade, the penny post and even decimal coinage. In 1887, partner Sir Mark Collet is appointed Governor of the Bank of England.
A specialist office is opened to cater for American travellers’ increasing use of the firm’s Letters of Credit, handling up to 350,000 a year.
In 1918, the partnership between Brown Shipley & Co. and the American Brown Brothers is officially ended, but they continue to work together for some time. In 1920, Lord Norman (Grandson of Sir Mark Collett) is himself appointed Governor of the Bank of England, after following in his Grandfather’s footsteps by becoming a partner in Brown Shipley & Co. Lord Norman remains the longest serving Governor, retiring in 1944.
Despite foreign exchange and commercial credits coming under wartime restriction, Brown Shipley& Co. endures throughout World War II, and in 1946 becomes a Limited Company.
By this time, the company has a prominent role in the London money market and develops an Investment Advisory Service, which provides an outlet for the company’s heritage and expertise in evaluating business deals and the people behind them.
In 1992 Brown Shipley & Co. Ltd is acquired by European bank KBL and joins its group of Private Bankers. At the turn of the millennium, Brown Shipley subsequently makes its own acquisitions of stockbroker Cawood Smithie, private-client investment manager Henry Cooke and in 2001, pensions and investment manager Fairmount Group plc.
After celebrating our bicentenary in 2010, Brown Shipley expand to new premises in Manchester, Edinburgh and Birmingham, complementing the newly refurbished London building, giving the company contemporary homes to match our thoroughly modern outlook.
Three further acquisitions serve to broaden and strengthen our offering: Hampton Dean, a chartered independent firm of financial planners gives us a Nottingham base in 2015; The Roberts Partnership, a financial planning and wealth management firm based in Manchester joins in 2016; while 2017 sees us acquire the UK branch of Insinger de Beaufort.
Official Wealth Management Partner of Lancashire County Cricket Club and Emirates Old Trafford.
Official Corporate Patron of the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Official Wealth Management Partner of Connect Yorkshire.