Growing financial service providers, the First Names
Group has announced that Guernsey-based trust, funds and
corporate services provider Mercator has become the group's latest
The acquisition of Mercator (which remains subject to regulatory
approval) will significantly expand the group's presence in the
Channel Islands. This is the fourth acquisition for the group since
its management buyout in July 2012 from IFG Group plc and its
rebrand in early 2013. Boutique fund services business Moore
Management, international trust and corporate services providers
Basel and Citadel were purchased in January, July and December of
last year respectively.
The transaction complements the group's existing offering
the firm said, as the trust and corporate services business will be
integrated into First Names Group whilst Mercator's funds
business will be incorporated into the Moore brand. Once the
acquisition completes, the group will have in excess of 520 staff
across nine locations. Mercator will begin operating under the new
brands towards the middle of the year.
Mercator, which is independently owned, provides professional
services for private client, corporate, fund services and managed
trusts. It has a history going back over 30 years when the
fiduciary business of Chandlers Chartered Accountants expanded and
developed independently, becoming Mercator in the 1990s.
In terms of Guernsey management, David Preston will continue as
the Managing Director of the trust and corporate business and
Director Mark Douglas will remain in charge of the fund services
business, operating under the Moore brand, post
Morgan Jubb, Chief Executive at First Names Group, said:
"We have been very interested in acquiring in Guernsey for
some time and Mercator is perfect for us both commercially and
culturally. We have successfully integrated the Basel
business into our brand and culture and are committed to investing
in the people, platforms and processes needed to support our
objectives. I am naturally delighted with the success achieved so
far in our acquisition strategy, in terms of economies of scale and
increased market share."
Carey Olsen advised First Names Group on the acquisition. The
pan-island team was led by partners Tom Carey in Guernsey and Mike
Jeffrey in Jersey and included senior associate Alison MacKrill and
associates John Scanlan and Alex Wilson in Guernsey. The London
office of King Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin, led by Martin Bowen, was
lead English counsel.
Mr Carey said: "This has been a particularly
interesting transaction in which to be involved as we were able to
draw on our experience of regulated business M&A transactions
across both Jersey and Guernsey to deliver an integrated service to
First Names Group."
Carey Olsen had previously advised the owners of Basel Group
when it was acquired by First Names Group.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).