IFM Group has announced the retirement of Eric Axford as Chairman of the IFM Group, effective 30th April 2013.  One of the founders of the highly-acclaimed international wealth management firm, Eric will hand over leadership duties of the Jersey-based Group to colleague and fellow Director Brian Morris. 

Credited with establishing IFM Group’s global presence, Eric is regarded by colleagues and fellow trust practitioners worldwide as a strategic thinker and ‘problem-solver’.  During his 10 year leadership, Eric oversaw the recent merger with Sector Trust, the opening of offices in South Africa, Switzerland and New Zealand and the integration with Praxity, the world’s largest alliance of independent accountancy firms.  In 2006 the Jersey office also moved into its state-of-the-art building in Seaton Place, St. Helier.

In his career spanning four decades, Eric has worked with a wide range of families and individuals to enhance their assets globally and protect their wealth for future generations.  Drawing upon his vast expertise in accountancy, UK taxation, and trust and corporate management, he has created a wide variety of trust and company structures, taking account of each client’s locations, interests and objectives. Eric has also established a varied network of professional advisers globally.

 “It seems only a moment ago that I qualified as an accountant,” comments Eric, who trained at Russell Limebeer, Chartered Accountants, relocating to their Jersey practice in 1974. “It’s been my great fortune to work with some amazing colleagues and clients throughout my 40-year career.    Indeed, many clients have become close friends and I’ve enjoyed playing an integral role in assisting them and their families to plan for their future.”

While Eric steps down as Chairman, he will continue to maintain client relationships in a consultancy capacity and as a trusted board member for a number of client companies.

In a planned transition, incoming Chairman, Brian Morris will continue to guide the Group’s global expansion plans ensuring that the current 90 people team, located in Jersey, Switzerland, South Africa and New Zealand, continue to deliver the exceptional client service it has become known for.

Acknowledging Eric’s many accomplishments, Brian says: “My vision is to build on the extremely solid base that was envisaged in 2001 when IFM was founded from three fiduciary businesses.  IFM is a leading independent fiduciary management business.  We are proud of our roots and believe that with an owner-led, director-managed business we can give our clients the best possible service, anticipate and respond to economic and financial change, and recruit and reward the best caliber of people, at all levels.”

Speaking on behalf of the entire IFM team, Brian continues: “We all wish Eric a very happy ‘retirement’ although with his interests in rugby, golf and his family, I am sure that with all of his established contacts, it won’t be a quiet one!”

Announcing Brian as his successor, Eric said: “Developing top quality leadership has always been at the heart of IFM’s business. I’m thrilled with the firm’s choice to name Brian as the Group’s new Chairman. I would like to thank the people that make up IFM for their hard work, integrity and contribution. In what’s been challenging times, we’ve created a market-leading platform to be proud of.”