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Niche Financial Services

Transforming a business through international acquisitions

By Dunedin,  November 03,2017

Hawksford is a leading international provider of corporate, private client and funds services, looking after regulatory, financial and tax compliance, and corporate governance.


Niche Financial Services

£29 million


After backing the management buyout of Hawksford in 2008, we helped transform the business, supporting it through a series of acquisitions. We’ve also invested significantly in the company’s people, operations and IT, creating a sound base for growing the business.

The opportunity

Hawksford’s strong cash generation and impressive portfolio of clients were the initial factors attracting us to the business. We saw an opportunity to help it develop a strong international presence. Key areas of focus were: increasing operational efficiency, improving marketing capability and business development, and expanding internationally through acquisition. After completing the initial transaction, we supported the management team in these areas. We seconded an executive with a background in financial services management consultancy to help carry out a 100-day plan and make operational improvements, especially in managing cash flow. Our involvement also covered Hawksford’s IT infrastructure, rebranding the business, management coaching and HR.

Most importantly, we supported Hawksford in identifying, evaluating and completing acquisitions to increase its international presence. To date, the business has acquired six companies – in Jersey, the Middle East and the Far East, where it has offices in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and six offices in mainland China.

Working together

Michel van Leeuwen, who joined as Group Chief Executive in 2015, has a strong track record in acquisitions, and our continued investment has helped him develop the buy-and-build programme that is central to the company’s internationalisation strategy, especially in the Far East. As the business grows, he has a particular interest in adding to the wealth of talented people working at Hawksford, which we have supported.

Looking ahead

Today, with headquarters in Jersey, Hawksford provides many diverse services in a sizable and growing global marketplace, and serves clients from more than 115 countries. A focused new business strategy is backed by a growing suite of corporate and fund services, based on advanced technology – all resulting in accelerated revenue and profit growth.

In August 2020 we partially realised our investment in Hawksford. Additional investment was secured from STAR Capital who came on board to provide additional capital to drive an M&A strategy. Dunedin will remain an investor with a minority stake.

Dunedin has been a majority investor in Hawksford since 2008 and has supported the business through significant growth, seeing the company grow to 11 locations worldwide, and from roughly fifty employees to over 440 employees.

“Dunedin is a strong partner, and has supported Hawksford’s internationalisation strategy as well as encouraged operational improvement initiatives.”
Michel van Leeuwen, Group Chief Executive, Hawksford

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