Jersey’s Highvern Group unveils new ‘boutique’ fund services biz

The Highvern Group, a Jersey-based “boutique private client business” that was created in 2016 with the re-branding of Coutts & Co Trustees (Jersey) Ltd, following a management buyout, is today launching a boutique fund services business, to “address a gap” it says exists in Jersey’s funds administration market.

The company said it was making the official announcement today in the wake of its appointment last month of James Bryant (pictured above, left) and Ken Ritchie (pictured above, right)  to the new business.

Highvern Fund Administrators Ltd, as the new business is being called, is being headed up by Aidan O’Flanagan (pictured above, centre), a former investment manager, director and head of fund solutions with Capita Asset Services, who also worked for three years at the Jersey Financial Services Commission.

In a statement announcing the launch of Highvern Fund Administrators, Highvern said it would meet a “growing” demand by clients who it says are seeking “a more bespoke level of service across private capital markets, including private equity, real estate, debt and renewables”.

O’Flanagan, who joined Highvern at the end of last year, said the newly-formed fund administration team has been “working hard” the last few weeks in order to build the infrastructure needed for what they envision will soon be a “market-leading funds business”.

“Our message has resonated and been well received within the market,” he added.

“We have created this business at a time when the industry is consolidating, and there are fewer and fewer boutique providers delivering a tailored service to clients.

“As an owner-managed business, our first priority is continuity for our clients and staff, and ensuring that we retain the talent and capacity to offer a first class service.”

Such is the interest in the business already, he noted, that Highvern has moved forward its launch of the business, and there are plans under way to add additional “senior” staff imminently.

MBO in 2016 

As reported, Highvern Trustees was unveiled in December, 2016, in the wake of an MBO of Coutts & Co Trustees by its existing management team, which had acquired the business from its parent, Royal Bank of Scotland plc’s Coutts & Co.

At the time Coutts said that it had decided to “[continue] to focus on its strategy of being a UK-focused bank”. Earlier in the year, RBS had completed its sale of Coutts International, its internationally-managed private banking and wealth management business, to Switzerland’s Union Bancaire Privée.

Key members of the Highvern Trustees MBO team included Martin Hall, Highvern managing director;  group director Naomi Rive; and Miles Le Cornu.

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