Business News

First Names Group agrees terms to acquire Mercator

By Business & Finance
07 January 2014
First Names Group

The strategic acquisition of Mercator (which remains subject to regulatory approval) will significantly expand the Group’s presence in the Channel Islands.

This is the fourth acquisition for the Group since its management buyout in July 2012 and major rebrand in early 2013. Boutique fund services business Moore Management, international trust and corporate services providers Basel and Citadel were purchased in January, July and December respectively.

The transaction complements the Group’s existing offering, as the trust and corporate services business will be integrated into First Names Group whilst Mercator’s funds business will be incorporated into the Moore brand.

Once the acquisition completes, the Group will have in excess of 520 ‘First Names’ across nine strategic locations. Mercator will begin operating under the new brands towards the middle of the year.

Mercator is an independently owned business based in Guernsey, providing professional services for private client, corporate, fund services and managed trusts. It’s a well-established Group, with a history going back over 30 years when the fiduciary business of Chandlers Chartered Accountants expanded and developed independently, becoming Mercator in the 1990s.

In terms of local Guernsey management, David Preston will continue as the managing director of the trust and corporate business and director Mark Douglas will remain in charge of the fund services business, operating under the Moore brand, post completion.

However, the acquisition will result in some significant senior promotions within First Names Group. Mark Pesco the current managing director of Jersey will become managing director of the trust and corporate business in the Channel Islands, overseeing the pan-island offices. Ben Newman, current client services director will be promoted to deputy managing director of First Names (Jersey) Limited and Peter Clarke, director of Compliance in Jersey will become head of compliance for the Channel Islands. Sharon McMillan, who is currently the chief operating officer of Mercator, will become the operations director for the Channel Islands.

Managing director of Mercator, David Preston comments: “Mercator has built a strong reputation and is a natural fit for First Names Group which allows them to gain market presence in Guernsey. I am delighted at the prospect of becoming part of a much larger organisation and the opportunities that will come as a result.”

Morgan Jubb, chief executive officer at First Names Group further comments: “We have been very interested in acquiring in Guernsey for some time and Mercator is perfect for us both commercially and culturally.  We have successfully integrated the Basel business into our brand and culture and are committed to investing in the people, platforms and processes needed to support our objectives. I am naturally delighted with the success achieved so far in our acquisition strategy, in terms of economies of scale and increased market share.”