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Private equity firm to sell First Names Group to global investor services provider

20/12/2017 Will Sidery

Multi-jurisdictional provider of financial services - SGG Group - has acquired 2017 eprivateclient Top Trust Company First Names Group from private equity investors AnaCap Financial Partners (AnaCap) in a deal that sees the latter secure a 2.6x return on its investment.

First Names Group is a provider of private client, corporate and fund services headquartered in Jersey and is present in 14 jurisdictions, and the combination of SGG Group and First Names Group strengthens SGG Group’s footprint in jurisdictions including Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Switzerland and Cyprus. 

The seller, AnaCap, is Europe’s largest specialist private equity investor in the financial services sector with more than EUR 3.5 billion raised across private equity and credit opportunities vehicles. During AnaCap’s ownership First Names Group entered eight new jurisdictions through greenfield or acquisition processes

The transaction (which is subject to regulatory approval) means that SGG Group will become, by revenue, the world’s fourth largest provider of trust, corporate and fund services. The combined group will employ over 1500 people with a presence in 23 jurisdictions.

Serge Krancenblum, SGG's group chief executive, said: "This is a key milestone for the SGG Group. First Names Group complements our offering and jurisdictional capabilities in our key client segments. Beside their impressive leadership and client base, First Names Group has a similar history and shares our values. I am certain that there will be an excellent cultural alignment between our two firms and that together we will take our combined group to new heights.”

2018 eprivateclient 50 Most Influential Mark Pesco - First Names Group chief executive – added: ”I believe that this is a hugely exciting opportunity as this deal will bring a wealth of new opportunities for our newly combined businesses, everyone within it and especially for our clients.  We have built a great business with the active backing and support of AnaCap. As part of SGG Group we have an extremely bright future and this deal positions us to take this business to its full potential.”

Edward Green, managing director at AnaCap, further commented: “It has been both a pleasure and a tremendously rewarding experience working with First Names Group. In terms of performance, we have achieved some very significant milestones and feel the time is now right for the company to explore a new direction and, we are sure, another chapter of continued growth with SGG Group. We are delighted to have completed what is a great deal for AnaCap and its investors with a 2.6x [money multiple] return achieved.”

SGG Group is an investor services firm for alternative investment funds, international companies, (U)HNW families and entrepreneurs. SGG Group’s main shareholders are Astorg Partners. AnaCap Financial Partners is Europe’s largest specialist private equity investor in the financial services sector.

Lazard acted as the sole financial adviser to First Names Group and its shareholders.

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