The Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Limited (“Butterfield” or “the Bank”) today announced that it has reached agreement in principle with Legis Group Holdings Limited (“Legis Group”) to acquire Legis Group’s Guernsey-based trust and corporate services business, subject to regulatory and other approvals.
The acquisition is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2014. Legis Group’s trust and corporate services business provides trust and company administration services to private clients and institutions. Butterfield also provides a wide range of trust and fiduciary services in Guernsey, as well as private client, institutional custody and administered banking services.
Bob Moore, Executive Vice President & Head of Group Trust at Butterfield said, “Legis is a high quality, well-managed trust business with highly-qualified employees who are respected within the industry for their expertise and professionalism. We are very pleased to have them join the Butterfield team.
“The acquisition of Legis Group’s Guernsey trust operation adds further scale to Butterfield’s international trust business, and adds to the strength and depth of our specialist trust team internationally.”
Brendan McDonagh, Butterfield’s Chairman & Chief Executive Officer said, “The Legis Group’s fiduciary client base is an excellent complement to Butterfield’s existing book of fiduciary and administration business. This acquisition fits with our strategy to continue to enhance our core businesses in existing markets as a means to build shareholder value. It is Butterfield’s first acquisition since 2007 and a transaction that we are able to enter into as a result of the diligent management of capital that has been our focus for the last several years, which has strengthened our profitability and created a platform for growth.”
Stuart Platt-Ransom, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of the Legis Group said that Legis had itself considered different ways to respond to the increasing complexity of private client structuring from a single jurisdiction, including growth through acquisition, and had concluded that the sale to Butterfield was the best option for achieving this.
He said, “This is good news for Legis’ trust clients and the employees who serve them. Butterfield has more than 70 years of experience in offshore trust administration and a first-class reputation in the industry. Butterfield shares our philosophy of relationship-led services and the scope and scale of the combined operations of Legis and Butterfield will provide significant benefits to clients.
“These will include a broader suite of fiduciary solutions, additional resources and multi-jurisdictional service delivery, positioning Butterfield as the premier partner in fiduciary services meeting the needs both of private clients and institutions. Our clients will continue to deal with their familiar Legis contacts.”
Butterfield Group’s trust network comprises five separately incorporated trust companies in key financial jurisdictions: The Bahamas, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey and Switzerland. In addition, Butterfield provides private banking and asset management services in London and a full range of community banking and wealth management services in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.
The Legis Group has been established for more than 30 years and was acquired by the management team in 2011. It will now focus its energies on reinforcing and further growing its fund administration and tax advisory services from its headquarters in Guernsey, where it continues to employ more than 50 people.
“We have considerable experience and expertise within our professional funds and tax teams and we enjoy an enviable reputation in our chosen markets. We are excited at the prospect of taking the business from strength to strength,” said Mr. Platt-Ransom.