Mergermarket recently interviewed our CEO David Hudson to find out his views on how we at Suntera Global are building our multi-jurisdiction offering. Read the interview below.
Suntera Global, a Channel Islands-headquartered trust and administration services company, is in acquisition talks with various parties to build out its multi-jurisdiction offering, Group CEO David Hudson told Mergermarket.
Integrating the purchases of Luxembourg-based counterparts Reference Financial Services and NeoTrust Fiduciary is Palatine Private Equity-backed Suntera’s priority, Hudson said. The transactions represent a pivotal part of its focus to build scale within the EU, with Luxembourg a major hub for cross border funds, he added.
Clients prefer working with a single multi-jurisdiction private wealth/corporate professional services provider, the executive said.
A Channel Island-located transaction is possible within the next 18 months as the company focuses on building an attractive and comprehensive global solution, Hudson said. Separately, deals within the US and the Middle East, two locations where Suntera doesn’t have a presence, as well as expanding its operations in Asia were not discounted by the CEO.
Transactions in locations where Suntera already has a presence could also occur, Hudson added. Suntera has a presence in the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, Isle of Man, Jersey (Channel Islands), Luxembourg, Malta and Switzerland, company information shows.
The acquisition talks are at various stages of maturity, with businesses with between 15 and 20 employees up to others with more than 100 staff in view, the CEO said. Suntera has an unspecified acquisition warchest on hand to pay for future transactions and has good relationships with its private equity backer and Apera Asset Management, he added.
The latter, a private debt manager with offices in London, Paris, Munich and Luxembourg, provided additional debt funding when Suntera acquired RBC Corporate Services Hong Kong in 2020, company information shows.
Suntera is a 300-people strong business, Hudson said, He declined to specify turnover details.
Inbound trade enquiries, deal advisors forwarding potential acquisition candidates and Suntera seeking target under its own steam represent the various means by which it finds potential targets. Hudson described the company’s M&A position as good, citing the appointment of Alex Noel as a factor.
Noel, named Suntera’s Head of Mergers and Acquisitions in October 2020, is based at its Jersey headquarters with responsibility for the development and execution of its inorganic growth strategy, as well as identifying strategic opportunities for investment and development worldwide, the appointment announcement notes.
Prior to joining Suntera Global, Noel was an investment manager at Aliter Capital, a UK-focused private equity fund executing a buy- and-build strategy in the support services sector, separate company information shows. He trained with PwC in the Channel Islands as part of the financial services M&A team, with a focus on executing transactions in the corporate services and fund administrations sectors, it adds.
Palatine has backed Suntera since mid-2019. Hudson downplayed the likelihood of an exit event occurring, noting the growth opportunities available and the fact both are only slightly more than two years into their relationship.
Established in 2007, Jersey-based Suntera provides fund administration and corporate and trust services. The company has completed five transactions since Palatine’s investment, Hudson said, with the purchase of Reference and NeoTrust, two fund and corporate services providers acquired in August and September, respectively, the latest deals.
The Reference transaction, which is subject to appropriate regulatory approvals, adds to Suntera’s client base while strengthening its presence in EU markets, the deal release states. Separately, the NeoTrust deal added complementary expertise to Suntera’s Luxembourg-based operation and the firm's wider network of offices, its deal release notes.
Suntera is headquartered in Jersey, having been granted a licence to provide fund administration services in the self-governing nation in June by the Jersey Financial Services Commission, company information shows.
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