Fortis Private Banking has been a financial services provider for nearly three centuries.
Its history dates back to 1720, when Gregorius Mees set up as a broker of bills of exchange and insurance in Rotterdam.
His son Rudolf founded R. Mees & Zoonen, which was soon financing civil engineering projects including waterways and the expansion of Rotterdam's harbour.
Another family firm, owned by the Hope brothers, expanded its Amsterdam-based business from trading in wool, grain and other staple goods to form Hope & Co, which went on to lend money to merchants, governments and royalty.
JL Pierson began banking operations as Pierson & Co in Amsterdam at the end of the 19th century. The company was both a stockbroker and a lender to foreign borrowers. Projects funded by Pierson included the Canadian-Pacific Railway, where its contribution was recognised with a station named Pierson.
In 1958, Pierson & Co teamed up with outside partners to become Pierson, Heldring & Pierson.
In 1962, R Mees & Zoonen and Hope & Co merged to become Mees & Hope Bankiers.
Pierson, Heldring & Pierson became a public limited company. Sweeping changes in the Dutch banking industry followed: Pierson, Heldring & Pierson became a subsidiary of AMRO and ABN acquired Bank Mees & Hope Bankiers.
MeesPierson was created when AMRO and ABN merged.
In 1997, MeesPierson was acquired by Fortis, keen to strengthen its private banking business.
Three years later, Fortis welcomed another company, Banque Générale du Luxembourg, Luxembourg's leading bank with extensive international private banking operations. Spanish specialists Beta Capital followed.
With the acquisition of the Intertrust Group in 2002, MeesPierson became the leading trust services company in Europe.
In the UK, 2005 concluded with the successful acquisition of London based Dryden Wealth Management, the British stock broking firm, which itself traces its roots back to Matheson Investments Limited, formerly part of Jardine Matheson.
Fortis Private Banking now operates in Belgium, China, Dubai, France, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
The original entrepreneurial spirit still prevails in the company, to the point where Fortis has opted in favour of close links between its private and commercial, corporate and merchant banking activities.
Our client approach covers the full life-cycle of both individuals and their businesses, combining Private and Business Banking into a global services concept that is unique in Europe.
We are where our clients are, and deliver what our clients need — quickly, efficiently, to the highest standards of professionalism and ethics.