Close Brothers acquires Cayman fund business from Scotiabank

Close Brothers is to acquire three business lines, including fund administration, from Scotiabank's operations in the Cayman Islands, continuing the expansion of Close Brother (Cayman) that was launched with the purchase of the trust and corporate business of Dresdner Bank Lateinamerika Cayman two years ago.

The transaction, which also covers the transfer of Scotiabank's representative banking and agency businesses, is taking place in conjunction with the upgrading of Close Bank (Cayman) from a Category B to Category A banking licence by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority.

'Being our second acquisition within the last two years, this is a significant step for Close Brothers,' says Close managing director Linburgh Martin. 'We have grown rapidly in recent years, and the acquisition from Scotiabank is a business transforming deal that fills out certain existing business lines and makes us the market leader in the bank representation business, which is a new business for us.

'We feel this recent transaction further solidifies our position as a leading financial services provider in the Cayman Islands that offers a comprehensive and diversified line of services to meet our clients' needs. We are also remaining true to our strategic goals of expanding by exploiting niche business lines.'

The upgrade to a Category A banking licence will allow Close to support Scotiabank's existing representative banking business on behalf of clients that require administrative and regulatory filing services in the Cayman Islands to ensure compliance with local laws and regulatory requirements.

'As part of Close Brothers' strategic direction, we remain focused on business development to meet the needs of our clients and community,' says Close Bank director Alana Julie. 'Taking on the additional business by extending our corporate arm with a Category A licence demonstrates our further commitment to the Cayman business community and marketplace.'

Close will also add nine employees from Scotiabank, headed by senior manager for fund services Michel Normandeau and manager of corporate services Carmen Thompson-Lopez, to its existing Cayman staff of more than 55 professionals. The two companies say they are working closely together to ensure a seamless transition.

'The transfer of these employees is in line with Scotiabank's long-standing tradition of treating employees with fairness, equity and with respect, particularly during times of major change and Close Brothers' desire to maintain continuity in the existing high level of service to clients,' says Farried Sulliman, Scotiabank's international managing director for the Cayman Islands.

'Scotiabank made the strategic decision to discontinue its services with respect to these three lines of business in Cayman so that it can concentrate on and expand its core businesses offering a wide range of retail and commercial services as well as administration of offshore trusts and managed companies. For Scotiabank customers, beneficiaries and employees, it will be business as usual.'

Scotiabank has been in Cayman since 1968 and is one of the islands' largest financial institutions with about 85 employees and three branches on Grand Cayman island. The bank offers retail and commercial services, including electronic cash management, and fiduciary services to high net worth individuals. With over 57,000 employees, the Toronto-based Scotiabank Group and its affiliates serve some 12 million customers in some 50 countries around the world and had USD337bn billion in assets at the end of January.

The companies that now make up Close Brothers (Cayman) have operated in the Cayman Islands for more than thirty years. The Cayman Islands operation is a subsidiary of the London-based Close Brothers Group, the largest independent merchant banking group in the UK and one of the 150 largest companies listed on the London Stock Exchange with total assets of more than GBP4.8bn. Founded in 1878, Close Brothers today employs more than 2,400 people in offices in the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Jersey, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, South Africa and the UK.

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