PEOPLE MOVES: Barclays Private Bank, Premier Assurance Group, Ogier


Barclays has named Bjorn Holderbeke to head up its MENA global investments and solutions (GIS) operations for its private banking business in that region, based in Dubai.

Holderbeke, pictured above,  most recently had been head of investment counseling at ABN-AMRO Private Bank, also in Dubai. Other previous roles have included head of investment counseling for Emirates NBD Private Bank’s Middle East team, and investment advisor at Citi Private Bank. He holds a BA in Economics and Entrepreneurial Leadership from Tufts University in the US.

At Barclays Private Bank, Holderbeke will will be responsible for product and platform development and will liaise with subject matter experts to assist in developing and delivering bespoke investment content to clients across the MENA region, according to a statement announcing his appointment.

Some of these duties were previously handled by Vic Malek.

Francesco Grosoli, who heads up Barclays’ Private Bank operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, noted that the Mena region was “a priority market” for the bank, “with strong opportunities for growth”, which Holderbeke will help it to realise.

Premier Assurance Group

Premier Assurance Group, the Coral Gables, Florida-based, internationally-focused insurance products provider, has named Ivonne Garrote-Torra vice president of finance.

In her new role with PA Group, Garrote-Torra, pictured left, will take on duties formerly handled by Oscar Suárez, who until now has been vice president of both the company’s Finance and Business Performance Management divisons. The company said the role was being split in response to its recent growth, and that going forward, Suárez would be vice president of just the Business Performance Management operation.

Garrote-Torra comes to the PA Group from Hygea Health Holdings in Doral, Florida, where she was also vice president of finance. Her experience also includes serving as chief financial officer at Medica HealthCare Plans, where she supervised and managed all financial aspects of the company’s entities and services, after serving many years as director of finance. She also gained invaluable experience at UnitedHealthcare of Florida where she held different positions for eight years.

At the PA Group, she will oversee and coordinate the company’s  financial planning, debt financing and budget management, while also ensuring that its accounting procedures and reporting comply with the industry standards.


Ogier, the Jersey-based international law firm, has  promoted Joanne Huckle and Piers Dryden from its Cayman Investment Funds team to partners in the firm.

Huckle and Dryden become the firm’s 53rd and 54th partners, respectively, after the naming of Anthony Partridge as a partner in February. James Heinicke, in Ogier’s Cayman fund finance team, was promoted to the partnership last year.

Huckle advises a number of key investment funds clients with respect to both open-ended and closed-ended mutual fund and private equity fund structures. Her experience also includes advising on such international corporate transactions as mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, rights issues, sukuk issues and restructurings.

Dryden, who recently relocated to Jersey to lead the firm’s Cayman law offering in the European timezone, specialises in advising on corporate matters, including with respect to public and private mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructurings, joint ventures and rights issues. He also advises on the establishment, operation, restructuring, regulation and listing of both open-ended and private equity funds including funds utilising cryptocurrency and Blockchain technology.

James Bergstrom, who heads Ogier’s Cayman office, said the promotions reflected the operation’s ongoing recent strategic growth, and the contributions to this growth made by the individuals who are now being promoted.

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