By Daniel Hunter

Hawksford, a leading independent trust company, has acquired Key Trust Company Ltd. This is the fourth acquisition since it was backed by UK mid-market private equity house Dunedin in October 2008.

This follows Hawksford’s recent expansion in Jersey, the Middle East and Switzerland and forms part of its wider growth strategy. In the last two years the business has completed the acquisitions of Trustcorp Jersey Limited,L-S&S GmbH, a Swiss boutique private wealth law firm, and the funds business of Standard Bank Dubai. Hawksford has also appointed a new chairman, Philip Taylor, to help drive the company’s development into new markets.

Hawksford is already the largest independent trust company in the Channel Islands and boasts revenues in excess of £20 million. Hawksford was established in 2008 following the management buyout of Rathbone Trust Company Jersey Limited, backed by Dunedin. Since this date the company has been focused on growth both organically and through acquisitions.

“Dunedin is focused on driving international growth for its portfolio companies," David Williams from Dunedin who sits on Hawksford’s board, commented.

"We have been working with the management team at Hawksford to identify attractive acquisition opportunities as part of a proactive buy and build strategy. The acquisition of Key Trust will boost the company’s capacity with its headcount increasing from 153 to 166, therefore further enhancing its market leading-position.”

Peter Murley, chief executive of Hawksford said: “This acquisition will enable the clients of Hawksford and Key Trust to gain access to an even wider resource pool of experts, an opportunity we view as a positive move for the business. We are very pleased to welcome the Key Trust staff to the Hawksford team.”

In the last two months Dunedin has also announced its exit from market leading conference and training venues business, etc.venues, which saw Dunedin realise a money multiple of more than 3x on its investment; as well as the management buyout of Premier Hytemp which Dunedin backed in a £34.5 million transaction and the announcement that Dunedin backed CitySprint acquired Eagle Express Worldwide Couriers.

'Open to Export' is a UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) initiative in partnership with hibu plc (formerly Yell Group).

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