Walkers puts its trust in Intertrust

Strong fiduciary arm waves goodbye to law firm parent

The relationship between an offshore law firm and its fiduciary business is a complex one. In many cases, the fiduciary provides vital instructions from clients as well as
a steady flow of revenue.

Yet the growth patterns for the fiduciary and the law firm can be very different, and some firms feel it is better to get rid of the former for the benefit of the latter.

Mourant du Feu & Jeune’s 2009 divestment of its various fiduciary businesses paved the way for its 2010 merger with Ozannes. Now Walkers has also decided to sell up, offloading Walkers Management Services (WMS) to trust company Intertrust.

WMS has undoubtedly been of use to the law firm in recent years, for example, when Walkers launched in Dublin in 2010, WMS drove business through to the legal arm.

But there is arguably more potential for the fiduciary arm to grow rapidly, provided it gets the investment it needs. Intertrust is better able to provide that investment than Walkers as it has a much bigger global footprint.

As ever when an offshore firm sells a fiduciary, partners will be among the main beneficiaries. Walkers would not comment on who owned the shares in WMS that are being sold to Intertrust, but a large proportion are likely to be held by its partners.

When Mourant sold its administration business, the profit went to some partners, staff and external shareholders rather than to the firm itself. With WMS turning over some $50m (£31.78m), the proceeds will surely be welcome.