Commerzbank puts Kleinwort Benson for sale

ONE of the City&rsquo;s most venerable private banks, Kleinwort Benson, is to be put on the market this week by its parent Commerzbank.<br /><br />Goldman Sachs has been appointed to manage its disposal and the group has received interest from several parties believed to be Standard Chartered, Royal Bank of Canada and Schroders.<br /><br />As part of the the German bank&rsquo;s agreement with the EU Commission to guarantee state aid, Commerzbank has to dispose several of its non-core assets, including Kleinwort Benson, by 2011.<br /><br />Commerzbank, which bought Kleinwort Benson last year as part of its purchase of Dresdner Kleinwort, is believed to be seeking up to &pound;300m.<br /><br />Kleinwort Benson employs about 680 people in London and the Channel Islands and has &pound;6.9bn of assets under management. The private bank is believed to be keen to retain the brand, which dates back to 1786.