"Investment in the business" key for 2022 eprivateclient Excellence Awards winner

Louis Danby, 26/09/2022

Nick Cawley, chair of Ocorian’s private client global advisory board

Speaking to eprivateclient, Nick Cawley, chair of Ocorian’s private client global advisory board, explained that “a big feature of our work is continued investment in the business.”

He highlighted that while this might be an obvious statement, Ocorian “can tangibly prove it”, which led to its success at the 2022 eprivateclient Excellence Awards where it was successful in the Private Client Trust Company (listed & bank/PE owned) category.

One demonstration of this was in its recent acquisition of Guernsey-based Trust Corporation International, a private client services, fund administration and corporate services provider.

The firm was headed up by Michael Betley who recently took on the role of global head of private clients at Ocorian.

Mr Cawley recognised that acquisitions are big investments but noted that “it’s important to take the time to make sure the business is going to be the right fit.”

In this case, “Michael led his team with exemplary fashion to make sure the integration was seamless,” said Mr Cawley.

He also appreciated that the brand uplift of Ocorian following the acquisition “has been amazing” to the extent that Ocorian received “lots of unsolicited congratulations” from fellow Guernsey firms.

Ocorian also invested in its staff with three key hires in Jersey earlier this year.

Among these was former eprivateclient 50 Most influential, Ian Rumens, who was appointed to lead its private client offering in Jersey.

Additionally, Karl Bekusch was appointed as an executive director whilst Karen O’Hanlon was appointed as a director

“The appointment of three big names is another demonstration of quality investment,” added Mr Cawley.

A further investment in its staff was the learning opportunities provided to current employees through its platform Grow.

The platform provides around 28,000 hours of continued professional development for its employees, allowing them to create playlists to tailor their training to a time and pace that suits them.

Finally, following a number of acquisitions, the firm is in the process of consolidating its policies to provide its clients with more timely and accurate information.

“It is important that clients get an improved and enhanced service from us.”

Michael Betley, global head of private clients

But Ocorian did not plan to stop there, and the promotion of Michael Betley promises to bring further enhancements to Ocorian’s operations.

A lot of these are “going on behind the scenes,” said Mr Betley, such as the use of artificial intelligence bots to streamline information retrieval.

However, more visible initiatives include the firm’s fringe event at Guernsey’s upcoming sustainable finance week.

Ocorian will focus on crypto to “challenge and expand the thought process around it”.

This includes discussions on where crypto comes into investing and the associated risk around it.

This will inform the firm, Mr Betley said, “not only how to develop a service around crypto, but will also demonstrate to others that we’re taking a leadership in this area.”

While Mr Betley stressed that Ocorian is “not at the front of the curve” in terms of crypto, he highlighted that the firm is “taking a more thoughtful approach.”

Additionally, Ocorian will leverage it presence at the event to discuss the role of a 21st century fiduciary services provider and what it means in a modern context.

This will demonstrate how Ocorian as “stewards of wealth” can “empower” capital to do more than just return.

“How can we use this power for good and influence the families we represent?” Mr Betley asked.

This is particularly useful when considering the next generation who don’t just want to invest capital but want to know what they invest in and the wider impacts their investments have.

This is an important focus going forward for Ocorian as these clients “are not just inheriting wealth, but inheriting the future,” said Mr Betley.

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