First Name buys Nautilus to boost Jersey, Hong Kong presence

First Names Group has agreed terms to acquire independent trust and corporate services provider Nautilus Trust Company (Nautilus), in a bid to expand its presence in Jersey, Hong Kong and London. 

The acquisition of Nautilus, subject to regulatory approval, is the latest in a series of moves that are part of the Jersey-based fund administrations group’s long-term expansion strategy.

Following the acquisition, First Names Group will now employ more than 800 people, working  out of offices in Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Cyprus, Switzerland, the US, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Ireland, the UK, the British Virgin Islands, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan.

Staff grows from 250 to 800

The firm has grown rapidly since a management buy-out in 2012. Since then it has gone from employing 250 staff in seven locations, three years ago, up to 800 staff, in 14 locations across the globe. Notable acquisitions include the 2014 takeover of Guernsey’s Mercator Trust.

This latest transaction involving Nautilus will also boost First Names Group’s headcount in Jersey to more 300 employees on the island.

Following the completion of the transaction, the trust and corporate services business will be integrated into First Names Group’s Private Client and Corporate Service offering.

Nautilus was originally founded in 1999 as Beachside Trust Company by shareholders of BBA Chartered Accountants. The company later rebranded to Nautilus Trust Company in 2000.

Jason Cowleard, chief executive of Nautilus, called the acquisition “a welcome development” for both clients and the Nautilus team, with Cengiz Somay, chief executive at First Names Group, calling its latest move “a fantastic achievement”.

“Successfully executing such large scale change programmes is never simple, and our achievements to date are a testament to the team’s professionalism and dedication,” said Somay.

Pictured (above) L-R are Jason Cowleard, chief executive of Nautilus, Ben Newman, managing director of First Names (Jersey) and Cengiz Somay, chief executive at First Names Group.

Gary Robinson
Head of Video and Ezines at Open Door Media Publishing. Deputy Editor, International Investment. An experienced journalist and filmmaker with more than 20 years' financial services experience, both as journalist and originally as a fully qualified IFA, Gary works across both International Investment and InvestmentEurope titles. Previous video production credits include projects on BBC, C4 and SKY.

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