Appleby confirms buyout of fiduciary business

Appleby Group, the major offshore law firm, has confirmed the management buyout of its fiduciary arm, Appleby Fiduciary Business, backed by private equity firm Bridgepoint.

The buyout was finalised on 31 December, meaning the Appleby law firm and AFB are now two separate businesses, according to a statement issued by Appleby.

Jersey-based Farah Ballands, pictured, who will take on the role of chief executive of AFB, said the newly-independent business expects to formally launch in the first quarter of 2016.

“AFB has grown significantly over the years, with over 350 staff located across nine offshore jurisdictions,” she said.

“With Bridgepoint’s expertise and support, we look forward to building on this success, and investing in new infrastructure to give our clients an unrivaled standard of service.”

Appleby Group managing partner Michael O’Connell said it was an “exciting time” for both businesses, adding: “I wish the AFB management team and colleagues every success for the future.”

AFB did not disclose the value of the transaction. As yet the business has not named its chair, but expects to do so “over the next few weeks”,according to a statement issued by Appleby.

AFB currently has operations in Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Hong Kong, the Isle Of Man, Jersey, Mauritius and the Seychelles.

Based in Bermuda, the entity that is Appleby Group today was built up over more than a century in various jurisdictions, with the component entities coming together mainly in the last few years. The firm was originally established in Bermuda in the late 1890s by Major Reginald Appleby.

In 2009 Appleby vaulted into the top ranks of the world’s offshore law firms, as measured by partner numbers, after its merger that year with Isle of Man-based offshore specialist Dickinson Cruickshank. It continued to grow its presence in the subsequent years within the UK Crown Dependencies (Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man) as well as in such increasingly important Asian financial centres as Shanghai.

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