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The oldest privately owned bank in the UK opened its first office outside London earlier this year. C Hoare & Co’s Cambridge branch, in a refurbished Georgian manor house, will be of interest for two groups of clients in particular.
‘One of the nicknames for Cambridge is Silicon Fen,’ explains Peter Gale, who oversees the Cambridge office from London. ‘The thinking is that it will become our version of Silicon Valley.’
Already, technology and biosciences companies in the region are thriving, offering opportunities for ‘synergies in terms of all the work we do with entrepreneurs’.
Gale adds that for all new customers, and for entrepreneurs in particular, meeting one of the bank’s owner-managers from the Hoare family can be ‘very powerful’. So is its status as an unlimited liability family business: ‘When entrepreneurs have liquidity events, they know it’s a safe place to put their money.’
Cambridge also provides a ready link to ‘traditional landed wealth’. Hoare’s 347-year history has imbued the private bank with a huge amount of experience. ‘But we have an understanding of what it takes to run a modern estate,’ says Gale. ‘Increasingly that involves diversified income streams. It’s very entrepreneurial.’