Estera merges with Ocorian

  • Two into one: Ocorian and Estera have merged to create a business that has $260 billion of assets under administration (Screenshot from Ocorian)

Estera has merged with Ocorian to create a corporate and fiduciary service and fund administration business with $260 billion of assets under administration.

The combined business continues under the Ocorian name, and following the obtaining of necessary regulatory approvals, will operate from 20 locations around the world, including Bermuda and Jersey, where Ocorian traces its root to 1971.

Estera, which has offices on Victoria Street, was spun off from law firm Appleby in late 2015. It is a corporate, funds and trust services provider, and launched legal services here and in the Cayman Islands.

The merger was confirmed by Ocorian today, seven months after the plan was first announced. According to the company, it makes it the seventh-largest corporate, funds and trust player in the world by revenue.

“The combination of Estera and Ocorian is extremely powerful. No matter where in the world our clients’ financial interests are structured, we will provide flexible, bespoke solutions that meet their needs as well as the needs of their stakeholders and regulators,” Farah Ballands, Ocorian Group chief executive officer said.

When the planned merger plan was first announced, Ocorian said its clients will benefit from Estera’s established North American presence in Bermuda, British Virgin Islands and Cayman, while Estera clients would be able to leverage Ocorian’s strong links to the Middle East and Africa.

With the merger confirmed, Ms Ballands said: “We are confident that our combined teams are the best in the business. The skills and experience our people have in the markets they operate in are second to none and we are looking forward to working with our expanded team to deliver the very best solutions and exemplary client service.

“The opportunities this brings makes it a really exciting time. Both Ocorian and Estera have impressive track records of growth and together we will be able to offer more services in more strategically important jurisdictions.”

The combined company has more than 1,250 staff.

Law firm Carey Olsen, which has offices in Bermuda, advised Bridgepoint, a European private equity investor, on the sale of Estera to Inflexion-backed Ocorian.

Carey Olsen worked alongside lead counsel Travers Smith, advising Bridgepoint on the Jersey, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands and Guernsey legal and regulatory aspects of the transaction.

The law firm said its global team was led by corporate partner Guy Coltman, assisted in Jersey by senior associate David Taylor and associate Natasha Lyons. Among those who also advised was partner Mary Ward, in Bermuda; partner Tom Carey and associate Colin Calvert (Guernsey); partner Clinton Hempel and counsels Elizabeth Killeen and Alan Hughes (British Virgin Islands); partner Anthony McKenzie, counsel Graham Stoute and senior associate Susan McKinstray (Cayman Islands).

Mr Coltman said: “Working together as a cross-jurisdictional team from Carey Olsen, utilising specialists in each of our offices and across all time zones, we were delighted to assist Travers Smith and Bridgepoint with this important transaction.

“Transactions like this, stretching across different jurisdictions and time zones, also provide the opportunity to demonstrate the depth and breadth of our global M&A offering and the seamless global service Carey Olsen can provide to clients.”

Bridgepoint’s other advisers included Deutsche Bank and ING (M&A), KPMG (financial and tax), Duff and Phelps (regulatory) and BAE (information technology).

The Royal Gazette has contacted Ocorian to ask if the merger will have any impact on jobs or operations in Bermuda, and is awaiting a response.