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Ocorian merger hailed a positive for Bermuda

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Bermuda is set to reap benefits from the merger of Estera and Ocorian, which happened this month.

That's the view of Alison Dyer, managing director of Ocorian's Bermuda office.

There will be no impact on jobs at its office in Bermuda, which has a 74-strong team, and its operations are likely to strengthen and grow as a result of the merger.

“At Estera and Ocorian people are our biggest asset. It's really about maintaining a combined merged brand rather than try to amend it in any way,” Ms Dyer said.

“Of course, in other jurisdictions there may be some rationalisation if there are duplications, but not in Bermuda.”

Estera was spun off from law firm Appleby in 2015, and from its office in Victoria Street is a corporate, funds and trust services provider across the region.

It is now under the brand name of Ocorian. The merger of the two businesses created a corporate and fiduciary service and fund administration business with $260 billion of assets under administration.

According to Ocorian, which has its roots in Jersey and strong links to the Middle East, Africa and beyond, the combined entity is the seventh-largest corporate, funds and trust player in the offshore world by revenue.

Speaking about the significance of the larger global presence and scale, Ms Dyer said: “It gives us flexibility to use more jurisdictions. They [Ocorian] are in further jurisdictions than we are, so we grow from about 12 jurisdictions to 18.

“I'm particularly excited about Asia. Bringing private wealth money and services to Bermuda, through Bermuda, and the region.”

She added: “The level of expansion is quite significant and also potentially doubles us in size. It gives us the opportunity to access people in other jurisdictions where Ocorian is, where we weren't, and the other way round. It makes us one of the leaders in the CSP and Trust space in the offshore world.”

Because there is no overlap with the Ocorian brand in Bermuda, there are no expected changes “on the ground”.

The merger gives the Bermuda office access to services and other clients in strategically important locations, Ms Dyer said.

When asked if the Bermuda operation could grow as a consequence, she said: “I do think so. Bermuda as a jurisdiction is very interesting. It's a very mature jurisdiction, it is not growing like it was in the 2000s, and in the 1980s and prior to that. It's growing in different ways.

“It's not really growing from a structured account perspective. It is growing from an AUA perspective, so it is a very interesting jurisdiction to work with.”

She added: “As far as growth here, yes, but I'm not sure it would necessarily generate structures, but it would definitely generate work services for us to be able to facilitate within the jurisdiction.”

Estera has a track record for involvement in and support for community events, and that is set to continue as Ocorian.

“Absolutely, we are fully committed to the jurisdiction,” Ms Dyer said.

“One of the things that I am extremely passionate about is ensuring that we stay committed to Bermuda, and that we understand the jurisdiction — I am Bermudian.

“I feel that's very important for us as a service provider and a sizeable employer of Bermudians on the island, that we maintain that and grow that.”

She said the company is looking at going in to more schools and explaining what it does and why it offers a good career path.

“It is such an important cornerstone to the financial services industry in the jurisdiction,” she said.

“It is incredibly important that Ocorian stay connected with and supportive of the jurisdiction.”

Committed to Bermuda: Alison Dyer, managing director of Ocorian's Bermuda office (Photograph supplied)
Heart of city: Ocorian has its Bermuda office at Victoria Place, on Victoria Street (Photograph by Google Maps)

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Published February 25, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated February 24, 2020 at 11:46 pm)

Ocorian merger hailed a positive for Bermuda

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