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Dunedin-backed Hawskford continues global expansion

By Dunedin,  September 26, 2011

Hawksford continues its ongoing buy and build strategy and international expansion.

Hawksford, one of the Channel Islands’ largest independent trust companies which is backed by UK mid market private equity firm Dunedin, continues its ongoing buy and build strategy and international expansion. Hawksford has acquired L-S&S GmbH, based in Zurich, Switzerland and its New Zealand trust company.

The acquisition forms a significant part of the company’s growth strategy and follows its recent move into the Middle East where it opened a Dubai office in May. In addition, the award-winning organisation has also appointed a new chairman, former senior partner of PwC Channel Islands, Philip Taylor, to assist the company with its global expansion.

Hawksford was established in 2008 following a management buyout of Rathbone Trust Company Jersey Limited, backed by Dunedin. Since this date, the company has been focused on growth, both organically and through global expansion. The acquisition of L-S&S GmbH, makes significant strides to achieving the company’s growth targets.

L-S&S GmbH is a boutique private wealth law firm. It provides specialist advice on all aspects of wealth planning and structuring, particularly using international and offshore trusts, private trust companies and other asset-holding structures.

Dunedin managing director, Shaun Middleton, who sits on Hawksford’s board, commented: “This acquisition is illustrative of Hawksford’s plans to expand its range of services and its international network and follows a period of active growth since its management buyout less than three years ago.”

He added: “The deal also exemplifies the approach that Dunedin typically takes to supporting the growth ambitions of its investee companies – both by pursuing an active buy and build acquisition strategy and by strengthening geographic footprint. We are increasingly involved in growing businesses on an international level.”

Dunedin-backed businesses which are currently undergoing rapid international expansion include: WFEL, the designer and manufacturer of mobile bridging systems; UPOL, a world leader in automotive refinish products; and Red Commerce, a global supplier of SAP experts.

Newly appointed Hawksford chairman, Philip Taylor, has been appointed to assist the board with its accelerating growth strategy. He is currently a commissioner at the Jersey Financial Services Commission, founder member of the Jersey Financial Services Advisory Board, chairman of the States of Jersey Treasury Investment Committee and chairman of the Jersey International Business School. Mr Taylor retired from PwC in 2009 as the head of its global assurance inspection programme. He was a key asset to PwC in the Channel Islands during one of the largest accountancy mergers in the industry’s history.

Dunedin is a leading UK mid-market specialist in supporting businesses with international growth strategies and has invested £111m into four companies in the last 15 months.

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