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LIVE IN THE MOMENT


Peter Murley calls for change in the Crown Dependencies’ financial services sectors


PETER MURLEY IS CHIEF EXECUTIVE AT HAWKSFORD


OVER THE PAST TWO to three years we have experienced the worst recession in living memory and it looks unlikely that there will be an early respite, with economic turmoil in Europe continuing apace. The assets of clients, be they private individuals or corporations, will increasingly be spread around the globe; this is what client choice is all about: offering clear options. In line with this we are witnessing a seismic shift as Eastern jurisdictions are unsettling the economies of the West. It’s the turn of the East (as well as Africa and South America) to be successful; just go to the Middle East, the Far East or India to see and feel the wealth and success. This globalisation means that clients are considering the use of finance centres other than, or in addition to, the ones where they have traditionally placed their business. As this shift takes hold it is becoming clear that, to


thrive, trust companies in the Crown Dependencies need to expand into other jurisdictions, such as Singapore, the Middle East, South America and Switzerland. Until four or five years ago most trust companies would choose to grow organically, but today growth by consolidation and acquisition, as well as organic growth, is where it’s at. Growing overseas is a positive move, both for


trust companies and for their shareholders, but most importantly for their staff and clients. Clients are increasingly looking for jurisdictional choice


46 APRIL 2013


and, generally speaking, don’t want to place all their assets in one basket.


What should we be doing? Battening down the hatches, buying in food for the siege and waiting until the world moves back to where it was three years ago is unrealistic. The world is never going back to where it was in the so-called good old days. Pricing across the world is highly competitive as many trust businesses vie for work, and business is becoming increasingly challenging. This is the time for change and reinvention – not for hiding in a corner and hoping it will all go away. It is the responsibility of the organisations operating in the sector, plus the regulators, governments and other representative bodies, to ensure that we as an industry are nimble enough to adapt to ensure we retain and grow our business operations, adding real value to our clients. Not tomorrow, but now. To do this, the survivors and thrivers need to take leadership roles and stop following. The market and our clients demand creativity and innovation, understanding of the different cultures of East and West, and to try to speak from one coordinated platform.


Difficult times and changing situations nearly


always provide huge opportunities. Many ultra- high-net-worth clients and their representatives use downturns to their advantage and the


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