Following the recent merger of Ocorian with fellow corporate, funds and fiduciary services business Estera, Farah Ballands, CEO of the combined business, explains how our increased global capability is transforming our business.
What does the merger mean for Ocorian?
"The merger has been transformational. We are now one of the largest corporate, funds, capital markets and private client service providers in the world.
It really does put us in the top tier as we service over 8,000 clients and administer more than $260bn of assets. With over 1,250 colleagues operating across 20 jurisdictions, we are a global, market-leading business of significant scale.
The combination of Estera and Ocorian is incredibly strong. We fit together perfectly. Our histories bear a striking resemblance having been spun out of law firms, and our paths since our MBOs are remarkably similar.
Now we've merged we're taking the best of both to create a new unified business, with shared values and bold ambitions."
How will the increased size of the business benefit clients and staff?
"We are totally focussed on our clients, and this merger means we can now offer more of the services that our clients tell us they are looking for.
Legacy Ocorian clients are now benefitting from Estera's well established North American presence, while Estera's clients are leveraging Ocorian's strong links in the Middle East and Mauritius.
What this means in practice is that we are rolling out our personal, tailored, solutions-based approach across our entire geographical platform. More than ever, we are now able to fully meet the needs of our clients' stakeholders, regulators and the investment itself.
We are confident that our combined teams are the best in the business. The skills and experience our people have in the markets they operate in are second to none. We're already enjoying working as an expanded team to deliver the very best solutions and exemplary client service to our clients.
Our people are everything. It begins and ends with them as they are the ones that drive the client experience. Every one of us, whether client facing or not, has a part to play in our growth so ensuring that staff see the benefits of the merger is incredibly important to me."
What about your new brand?
"We wanted our new brand to be a powerful symbol of the coming together of our two businesses. We therefore introduced the Estera teal into the Ocorian logo. These two colours reflect both our past and set us up for the future.
But of course, our brand is not just a set of colours or images. It is what our clients experience when they deal with us.
We are all ambassadors for our brand and we have created new values that underpin everything we do: who we are, how we behave and how we relate with the outside world. By being proactive and instilling these values into our work, we can help our clients achieve their goals and add value to their business."
In the short term, will there be a period of consolidation?
"Inevitably, there will be a period of integration where we bring colleagues together. We have overlap in three large jurisdictions and where that occurs, we're looking to have everybody under one roof as soon as we can. But, we have an integration team who are focussed on bringing the businesses together so that we can continue to provide the same high level of client service and ensure it is business as usual.
We've also set growth targets which are ambitious but achievable through organic growth and further mergers and acquisitions.
Both Ocorian and Estera have delivered strong growth as well as undertaking acquisitions and we will continue to be a very considered acquirer. We are already starting to have conversations with businesses that would complement the new Ocorian with the knowledge that there is still room for expansion in some of our existing locations, as well as moving into new ones and enhancing the range of services we provide."
How will private equity partner Inflexion support the newly combined business?
"Inflexion's continued support and backing for our business brings us tremendous opportunity.
With their support, we will be able to make more acquisitions to strengthen and grow even further. We will push into new markets and products.
We are also able to invest in best in class systems and infrastructure and I am confident that with their backing we will be extremely successful."
On a personal level, how does it feel to be taking on the role of CEO?
"I feel genuinely privileged and excited to be taking on this role. To lead a business of this size at this time is a phenomenal opportunity.
It's a very exciting time, and I believe that both firms have enough in common for it to work superbly. I'm confident that this will be a real success story for our clients and for our people."
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