Now Vistra acquires Singapore’s Intro Int’l

Vistra Group, the  acquisitive, Hong Kong-based corporate services, trust, fiduciary and fund administration services provider, has acquired another business, this time, Singapore-based corporate services provider Intro International.

The price and other details of the deal weren’t given.

Intro International was founded more than two decades ago by Duncan Merrin, who remains its managing director, and his wife, Yati, who runs the operational side of the business. It assists companies from other parts of the world that are looking to expand into Asia, and to use Singapore as a base.

According to Vistra, it provides city-state businesses as well as international clients with such services as corporate secretarial, accounting and tax compliance assistance. Many of its international clients are trading companies from the UK and Australia, Vistra said.

It added that the acquisition fit well with Vistra’s strategy of focusing on FDI-driven international expansion services, which has also characterised some of its other recent acquisitions.

As reported, these have included India’s IL&FS Trust Company Ltd; Reading, England-based Nortons Group; and a Zurich-based family office and consultant company, globalOne.

Intro International MD Merrin said that joining forces with Vistra would enable his company to leverage the Vistra Group’s network of personnel and locations, and collaborate in particular with its International Expansion Services division, the staff of which, like Intro’s, are “focused on [providing] international expansion services” to clients.

Existing Singapore presence

Vistra already has a presence in Singapore. Chris Burton, managing director of that operation, said the acquisition would boost Vistra’s presence in the market while also helping the firm to “tap into new client base” that, in turn, was expected to “widen our business referrals outside Singapore”.

In a statement, Vistra said Duncan Merrin and Yati Merrin will remain with the business “for the foreseeable future”, with Duncan becoming a consultant to Vistra after the transition period. Intro International’s staff of 12 will move later this year to Vistra’s offices near Paya Lebar Square, in Singapore’s Geylang district, from their current location in Anson Road.

Graham Harkness, a UK-qualified chartered accountant who is currently a director at Intro International, is moving over to Vistra Singapore to take up the new role of director, International Expansion Services,  spearheading the business development effort in this area, and picking up some of the management duties at Intro International that have been handled by Merrin.

Vistra, which dates back to a 2006 buy-in of the fiduciary and trust business of Chiltern in London and Jersey by the former top management team of Fortis Intertrust, was acquired by Baring Private Equity Asia last year.

Separately, Vistra said that the Reading, England-based business expansion services provider it acquired earlier this year, Nortons Group, is rebranding as Vistra.

In a statement, Vistra said that Nortons was advising clients that apart from the change in name, its executives foresaw “no changes to the services provided to their clients”.

“In the long term, this next step in becoming part of the global Vistra family will bring existing and new clients significant added value, as operating under one brand will result in a stronger service offering and geographical presence,” the statement said.

Nortons employees will continue to work out of their existing offices in Reading and in Redwood City, California.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Helen Burggraf
Helen Burggraf is the editor of International Investment. A US-trained journalist, she has worked in Rome, New York City and London, covering everything from the fashion and retailing industries to the global drinking water and water-treatment sector, private equity, and most recently, the international cross-border financial services/advice industry.

Read more from Helen Burggraf

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