Hermes completes first deal from HPEP I

Hermes Private Equity has completed the management buyout of trust and company services firm Walbrook – the first buyout from its HPEP I fund, which closed recently on £200m.

Walbrook, the trust and company services arm of Deloitte in the Channel Islands and Isle of Man, has undergone a £50m-plus management buyout led by Hermes Private Equity.

The deal is worth ‘in excess of £50m’, though precise numbers were not given for competitive reasons. The consideration included £32.5m of debt facilities provided by Bank of Scotland Corporate Banking.

Walbrook offers fiduciary and advisory services to private, corporate and institutional clients around the world, including trustee and investment management services, administration of companies, tax advisory and compliance services. The firm has around 140 staff and offices in Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man.   

Walbrook chief executive Bryan Dix, who led the deal, said: “The international financial landscape has been transformed over the past three years, absorbing new regulations and meeting tough new standards. Walbrook is perfectly placed to thrive in these new conditions. We already have highly qualified teams in three jurisdictions, and our aim now is to become the leading provider of international fiduciary services within three years.”

Rod Selkirk, chief executive of Hermes Private Equity, said he was attracted by the opportunity to grow the business organically and through acquisitions in a growth industry. He said Walbrook was already looking at ‘a couple of interesting opportunities’ but declined to provide further details.

Hermes Private Equity’s direct investment team, which manages the HPEP I fund, is now six-strong, having been formed when Selkirk joined from Bridgepoint Capital in April 2002. The most recent appointment was Justin Ward, who was recruited from CVC Capital Partners in September 2003.

Hermes Private Equity, which is the private equity arm of Hermes Pensions Management, has nearly £1bn committed to the asset class as an active investor in external private equity partnerships.