The boutique private bank announced this month that it is celebrating 25 years of providing banking, investment and wealth management services on the island of Jersey. During this time, the Jersey team have played their part in growing the business from a small start-up to a personalised private banking service and successful trust company, managing over £4 billion of clients’ wealth across jurisdictions.
The company’s Jersey office opened on Don Road in St Helier on 28 June 1994, under the name Robert Flemings. At that time it offered only banking and trust services, but the business evolved and went through a number of name changes and restructures before becoming the Nedbank Private Wealth and Nedgroup Trust we know today.
Chris Roscouet, trust director, is the longest serving employee in the Jersey office having joined in 1997 – the same year that the bank was restructured as Fleming Offshore and the trust company became Fleming (Jersey) Trustees Limited. He recalls an organisation that was great to work for, with a number of memorable characters and strong links to its London parent. In 2000, Fleming Offshore was acquired by Chase Manhattan, which subsequently merged with JP Morgan. Within a year the company had been sold to a joint venture of Old Mutual and the Nedbank Group, and it was then rebranded as Gerrard Private Bank (GPB) in 2001. The following year, the company became the first British offshore island bank to receive an independent ‘A’ credit rating (A3/P2) from Moody’s.
Cameron Walker, head of relationship management, who joined the company in 2002, said: “It was a very exciting time to join the organisation. There was an entrepreneurial spirit and an energetic, enthusiastic team who were focused on establishing a strong private banking presence in Jersey.
“The aim at the time was to establish offshore and international business flows from the clients of our then sister company, Gerrard Limited. However, our success ultimately came from developing our own relationships with UK resident, non-domiciled individuals and a local client base in Jersey.”
By 2004, Gerrard Limited had been sold to Barclays and GPB was rebranded again as Fairbairn Private Bank (FPB), after Old Mutual’s founder, John Fairbairn. The trust company became Fairbairn Trust Limited (FTL).
Katie Penny joined the trust business in 2003, at 18 years old and armed with a STEP Certificate in International Trust Management. She felt a smaller business with such a close family atmosphere would offer her more opportunities for personal development, and started out as a trust administrator. Just 16 years later, Katie is now a director, and responsible for many long-standing client relationships as well as growth and business strategy across the international trust business, which has a presence in both Jersey and Guernsey.
“Despite doubling staff numbers, the Jersey office has retained the family feel and strong morale that first attracted me to it. The business has a low staff turnover and an overriding commitment to exceptional client service,” explained Katie. “My responsibility for business development means I travel extensively to meet existing and potential clients face-to-face in their own jurisdictions, to be able to really understand their circumstances and their short and long-term wealth structuring needs. We understand that consistency of relationships with clients is important in order to build trust, loyalty and longevity with us.”
In 2009, Nedbank bought out Old Mutual’s holding in FPB, FTL and Guernsey-based Fairbairn Trust Company (FTC), and three years later, the bank took on the Nedbank name to become Nedbank Private Wealth, while the two trust companies became Nedgroup Trust. The business now employs over 40 staff in its Jersey office on The Esplanade in St Helier.
Looking forward to the next two and a half decades, Katie emphasised the trust business’s plans to grow “both independently and by collaborating with the bank, to create a long-term sustainable strategy, providing advice-led structuring solutions for our clients.”
Cameron added: “As a business, we’re continually striving to make things easier for our clients. We want to be seen as an innovator and seek new ways of delivering exceptional service, securely and efficiently.”