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First Names Group makes senior appointments across four jurisdictions


First Names Group has appointed four client service directors to its offices in Guernsey, Jersey, Singapore and Switzerland. All appointments are effective immediately.

To its Private Client service line, First Names Group has appointed Sean Breslin in Geneva, Carola Zoni in Guernsey and Mike Pownall in Jersey.
Breslin has worked in the fiduciary sector in Switzerland for 15 years and has considerable experience managing teams administering trust structures for the UK, non-resident Indian, Middle Eastern, Latin American and South African markets. He has achieved the Swiss Advanced Certificate in Trust Management (SACTM), a Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) diploma, as well as a BA in Finance and Business Law from the University of Stirling in Scotland. Before joining First Names Group he was Head of Private Wealth Switzerland for a large independent trust company based in Geneva. As Client Services Director for the Group’s Swiss operation, Breslin’s new role will focus on building and maintaining constructive long-term relationships with clients and intermediaries.
Zoni has 18 years’ experience administering corporate and private wealth structures for clients around the world. Prior to joining First Names Group, she developed her career with a global trust and corporate services provider, where she progressed from trainee administrator to director of private wealth and corporate services. Zoni is an ICSA qualified chartered secretary, a qualified member of STEP and holds the Certificate in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors (IoD) as well as an MSc in Management Engineering from the Politecnico in Milan. She is currently working towards her IoD Diploma in Company Direction to achieve chartered director status. Zoni’s role as Client Services Director for First Names Group will see her lead a team of skilled administrators in the servicing of a diverse private client portfolio with complex multi-asset holding structures spanning a number of jurisdictions.
With over 30 years in the industry, Pownall is a seasoned finance professional who began his career in client account management for a leading British bank before moving into fiduciary services and gaining experience in both bank-owned and independent trust companies. Before First Names Group, Pownall was director of a private trust company in Jersey. He holds the Diploma in Trust an Estate Practice from the Chartered Institute of Bankers (now IFS School of Finance), the ATT qualification from the Association of Taxation Technicians as well as an Honours degree in Financial Services from the University of Manchester. Like Carola, as Client Services Director Pownall will lead a dedicated team in looking after a varied portfolio of international high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth clients.
Meanwhile, adding to the Group’s Corporate service line is Mary Arokia in Singapore.
Arokia has a decade of experience in the finance industry including legal, corporate secretarial and fiduciary services roles. She has handled diverse portfolios of international corporate and private clients as well as leading on a number of corporate transformation projects for a global financial services organisation. Prior to joining First Names Group, Arokia was Director of Operations for an international trust and company management services company in Singapore. Arokia holds a Bachelor of Law degree from Karnataka Law University as well as a BA in Economics from St Joseph’s College in Bangalore, India. She joins the Group’s Singapore office as a Director, heading up the corporate services function and leveraging her extensive business networks in India, Singapore and Hong Kong to help build the Group’s profile in these jurisdictions.
These appointments all follow the announcement made at the end of 2017 regarding the planned acquisition of First Names Group by SGG Group, which currently remains subject to regulatory approval.
Mark Pesco, First Names Group’s Chief Executive Officer, says: “These senior appointments serve to support our continued organic growth and ever-strengthening international presence as we head towards our integration with SGG Group. This is a very exciting time to be joining the business as I believe our combined Group will become a significant global player in the provision of administration services to ultra-high-net-worth families, corporates and fund clients across the world.
“All four of our new recruits are very experienced, skilled and well qualified, and each with their own individual strengths and expertise. I am delighted to welcome Sean, Carola, Mike and Mary on board and look forward to seeing how they help drive our future success.”

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