About Kempen Capital Management
Kempen Capital Management is a unique, specialist asset management company – a star player in its niche markets. Our strategy is simple: we focus on delivering stellar investment returns for our clients. Our sharp investment vision has led us to a select group of strategies that place us among the top of our international league in small caps and real estate, but also high-yield stocks, fixed income and funds of hedge funds.
Kempen Capital Management is the asset manager of Kempen & Co N.V.
A brief history of Kempen & Co
Kempen & Co’s story is a fascinating one. It is a story about people who dare to be entrepreneurial: active people, smart go-getters. It is a story about people who exceed expectations, take responsibility, carefully consider opportunities they identify and subsequently capitalise on. The constant factor is our passion for the profession.
This is a story about entrepreneurship and an eye for talent, from the moment that Arinus Kempen set himself up as an independent stockbroker on 1 July 1903 right up to the present day. In 1903, when the Amsterdam Berlage stock exchange opened its doors to accommodate all of the Netherlands’ stock exchange transactions, Kempen saw an opportunity and started his own securities company. Kempen & Co is therefore as old as the Dutch stock exchange.
Arinus Kempen immediately recruited a talented broker, Martinus de Lange, who became the ‘Co’ in the company’s name. This proved to be an excellent choice, as the name De Lange was to remain linked to Kempen & Co until 1964. In 1942, Martinus’ son joined the stockbroking firm. He managed the company until 1964. Kempen & Co initially traded mainly Dutch East Indies funds, shifting its focus later on to Dutch securities.
Kempen & Co was responsible for the first research publication in the Netherlands. As long ago as the 1940s, co-partner Piet Harms started to write down all the information he heard on the stock exchange. He wrote a newsletter, entitled Beurscauserie, on weekends. On Mondays, it was reproduced using a stencil duplicator and sent to business partners. This direct communication and transparent sharing of useful informationcontributed to Kempen & Co’s excellent reputation. It is another good example of the passion for our profession that is typical of Kempen & Co.
When De Lange left the company in 1964, Piet Harms carried on by himself. It was Harms who expanded Kempen & Co into one of the best-known stockbroking firms on the Amsterdam stock exchange. Its clients were chiefly private individuals seeking guidance and advice concerning their stock exchange transactions. In 1969, the company became a Public Limited Company. In 1973 Harms sold Kempen & Co to the British bank Slater Walker. At the time, it had fifteen employees. In 1976, Kempen & Co passed into the hands of the Belgian company Peterbroeck, Van Campenhout & Cie.
Growth through quality: Kempen & Co steadily expanded its activities, and by 1983 it was listed on the Dutch ‘parallel market’. It was at this time that Kempen & Co opted for the clear positioning that, even today, determines the brand's positive perception, providingresult-oriented services, focusing on quality rather than quantity. Due to its modest size, competing with large players in the market requires outperforming the competition and exceeding client expectations. To this effect, the research and corporate finance activities were substantially expanded in the late Eighties. In 1991, Kempen Capital Management was founded to provide a framework for both institutional and private asset management. The assets under management grew rapidly during this time.It was on this basis - the company’s ongoing high, customer-oriented performance and entrepreneurial spirit - that Joop Krant, who took over as CEO of Kempen & Co on 1 January 1993, expanded the company further.
In 1993, Kempen & Co acquired the management of the Orange Fund, allowing asset management to be added to the company’s specialisation in small and mid caps. The Orange Fund’s long-term philosophy and shareholder involvement form the basis for all subsequent investment funds set up by Kempen & Co over the course of the years.
The bank grew into a company employing, on average, four hundred staff. Building a strong presence as an independent merchant bank, Kempen & Co evolved into a major player on the Euronext stock exchange and an innovative adviser and manager. Other parties showed an interest in the bank. In 2001, this led to Luxembourg’s Dexia BIL (a subsidiary of the Franco-Belgian Dexia Group) making a bid for all outstanding Kempen & Co shares. In March 2002, Kempen & Co moved to its new office in the World Trade Center in Amsterdam.
After three years of operating as an independent subsidiary of Dexia, Kempen & Co became a fully-independent bank again on 15 November 2004. With the support of Friesland Bank, HAL Investments and NPM Capital, the management of Kempen & Co bought the company’s shares. All Kempen & Co employees were given the opportunity to participate in the bank.
On 7 September 2006, Van Lanschot made a bid for Kempen & Co. The Board of Directors and the Supervisory Board of Kempen & Co supported the bid and recommended that shareholders accept the offer. This acquisition led to the merger of two banks which complement each other well with respect to products and range of services. As of 2 January 2007, Kempen & Co became an independent subsidiary, with its own banking license, of Van Lanschot Bankiers.
Today, Kempen & Co is a thriving company with offices in Amsterdam, New York and the United Kingdom, an established name in the financial world and a world-class player in its specialist fields. Above all, Kempen & Co is a bank that believes that the best is yet to come; a bank that can see opportunities, a bank that believes in a bright future.