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First Names Group acquires Mercator


First Names group has acquired Guernsey trust, funds and corporate services provider Mercator.

The acquisition of Mercator, which remains subject to regulatory approval, will expand the group’s presence in the Channel Islands.
This is the fourth acquisition for the group since its management buyout in July 2012 and major rebrand in early 2013.
Boutique fund services business Moore Management and international trust and corporate services providers Basel and Citadel were purchased in January, July and December respectively.
The transaction complements the group’s existing offering, as the trust and corporate services business will be integrated into First Names Group whilst Mercator’s funds business will be incorporated into the Moore brand.
Once the acquisition completes, the group will have in excess of 520 ‘First Names’ across nine locations. Mercator will begin operating under the new brands towards the middle of the year.
David Preston will continue as the managing director of the trust and corporate business and director Mark Douglas will remain in charge of the fund services business, operating under the Moore brand, post completion.
Preston says: “Mercator has built a strong reputation and is a natural fit for First Names Group which allows them to gain market presence in Guernsey. I am delighted at the prospect of becoming part of a much larger organisation and the opportunities that will come as a result.”
Morgan Jubb (pictured), chief executive officer at First Names Group, says: “We have been very interested in acquiring in Guernsey for some time and Mercator is perfect for us both commercially and culturally.  We have successfully integrated the Basel business into our brand and culture and are committed to investing in the people, platforms and processes needed to support our objectives. I am naturally delighted with the success achieved so far in our acquisition strategy, in terms of economies of scale and increased market share.”

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