Ashurst Morris Crisp is setting up a financial institutions group which will bring funds and financial products expertise under one roof
The group will include expertise in private investment funds, retail funds, financial products, insurance companies and financial institutions. Comprising partners Jeremy Hill, Jeremy Sheldon, Roger Walsom, Ian Webb, James Perry and Ian Mason, it will advise on raising new share capital, setting up funds onshore and off, M&A, insurance and reinsurance, and new financial products. Sheldon said that the move is designed to increase critical mass in the financial services group and to encourage the sharing of knowledge within the industry. The launch of the group is particularly significant given the increasing trend towards the convergence of financial institutions and of investment and retail funds. "Investment funds being set up are being marketed to the public," said Sheldon. "The focus is to invest into private investment funds and therefore the retail market is being given a more direct exposure into private equity. Bringing the two funds together makes sense in the way the market is developing," he said. Ashursts has been handling private equity work since 1980, but in the past few years the firm has made a push on private equity across Europe. Private equity houses are developing increasingly complex funding structures and these have important implications for the fund's investment in deals. Sheldon said that on the back of this Ashursts plans to offer a complete service from fundraising through investment to the end product.