Mourant, the Jersey-based legal and specialist fund administration provider, which last month acquired Guernsey-rival Redbridge Offshore, has opened a London branch of its UK fund administration division, Mourant International Finance Administration, with the appointment of Goldman Sachs executive director, Robert Shore. The two-strong team, which will also include Angela Gaughan from the Jersey office, is expected to be up and running in February, subject to approval from the Financial Services Authority (FSA).
While at Goldman Sachs, Shore was involved in developing a team within the firm’s Whitehall real estate funds to control and co-ordinate financial information from operating partners.
Reporting to Rupert Walker, head of Mourant International Finance Administration, Shore’s role will be to develop new onshore business streams administering private equity, venture capital and real estate opportunity funds in the UK. Other responsibilities will include identifying new jurisdictions in Europe.
Commenting on the firm’s decision to broaden into onshore activity, Walker said: “We have grown up in an environment where funds use us for tax purposes. As we go into the UK, people are using us because of our experience and efficiency. As investors become more sophisticated, the investment you need to make in IT becomes greater and outsourcing becomes an increasing attractive option.”
Mourant’s fund administration operation has grown from 4 to 60 people in the five years since it was established, with total assets under administration rising from US$100m at the outset to over US$14bn in 2001. Clients include CVC Capital Partners, Axa, Chase Manhattan, Merrill Lynch and Mercapital.
Walker said the firm has plans to grow the London fund administration team to 20 people within three years. The Guernsey operation, meanwhile, is forecast to grow from 15 people currently to 20 by the end of the year, with plans to expand the Luxembourg team from 3 to 6.