Vistra expands into Oz, via acquisition

Less than three months after announcing its last market-expanding purchase, Vistra Group – the acquisitive, Hong Kong-based corporate services, trust, fiduciary and fund administration services provider – has acquired the compliance division of Foster Raffan, a boutique chartered accounting firm based in Sydney, Australia.

The acquisition adds another country to Vistra’s rapidly-growing list of global outposts.

As reported here in February, Vistra most recently announced the acquisition of Podium SAM, a privately owned wealth structuring advisory provider in Monaco, and in December, revealed it had acquired Bristol-based Jordans Group. Other acquisitions last year included Guernsey’s Orangefield; Intro International in Singapore; India’s IL&FS Trust Company Ltd, and Ujwal Management Services Private Ltd; Reading, England-based Nortons Group; and a Zurich-based family office and consultant company, globalOne.

Foster Raffan dates back to the 1970s, and has been in the hands of its current owners since 1995. It provides accounting and tax, audit, and wealth management services, according to Vistra, which notes that its compliance division in particular has grown substantially over the past 20 years to become “one of the leading business units within the firm”.

The team of 17 staff at Foster Raffan’s Compliance division, led by company partner Vivien Tang, will join Vistra, with Tang remaining in charge of the team. She will also assume the title and responsibilities of  Vistra’s head of international expansion in Australia, according to a statement published by Vistra.

Vistra chief executive Martin Crawford said that for Vistra, “building a presence in Australia is an important step” that would help to enhance the company’s international expansion network and service offerings.

“Since the Foster Raffan brand came to fruition in 1995, the partners have created a history of success and collaboration, evident through their longstanding client relationships,” he added.

“This acquisition will continue to nurture and develop the partnership which was first started with Vistra UK 10 years ago, and we are excited to welcome Vivien and her team to the Vistra family.”

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 in 2015.

In 2011, it merged with Hong Kong-based company formation specialist OIL (formerly Offshore Incorporations Ltd), which earlier this year rebranded as Vistra.

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