Private bank Cainvest has bought the Cayman Islands banking operations of corporate services provider Intertrust.
Intertrust Bank is a provider of authorized agent services for Class B banks in the Cayman Islands.
Cainvest International Bank, owned by the Cohab/Aboulafia Group, was formed in 2011 when the Brazilian family holding company acquired Sul America International Bank in the Cayman Islands.
The acquisition will give Cainvest, which mainly offers back office and clearing services to family offices and institutional money managers, a Class A banking license in the Cayman Islands and the ability to serve as an offshore presence for foreign banks.
Since the merger last week, the new business operates as Cainvest Bank and Trust Ltd.
Cainvest will continue to support Intertrust’s existing representative banking business, which provides banking clients with authorized agent services and a principal office in Cayman to ensure compliance with local laws and regulations.
Charles Aboulafia, chief financial officer of Cainvest Bank and Trust, explained that competitive pressure in the banking market has led to declining margins and is forcing the bank to consider scaling up its business through acquisitions.
“Competition is increasing and fees are dropping, so we must buy other banks and expand services to keep being profitable,” he said.
Mr. Aboulafia said Cainvest had been looking to expand its business with banking activities that do not require any leverage, in line with its own mandate. Intertrust Bank was a good fit, he said, because, like Cainvest, it focuses on institutional clients and has no debt.
“The acquisition and merger with Intertrust Bank will generate many synergies with Bank Cainvest as both institutions are specialized in serving the global institutional market from the Cayman Islands.”
Cainvest will add back-office, accounting and legal services for other banks to Intertrust’s offering, Mr. Aboulafia said.
In October, private equity firm Blackstone listed Intertrust in an initial public offering and the Dutch trust administrator started trading on Euronext’s Amsterdam market. The IPO raised $486 million and valued Intertrust at $1.3 billion.
Intertrust said the banking operations it sold to Cainvest were non-core activities and the transaction will have no effect on its profitability going forward.
“The transfer of these activities is in line with Intertrust’s focus on core activities of trust and corporate services, as well as fund administration,” said Marije van der Lint, managing director of Intertrust Holdings. “We are pleased to see Intertrust Cayman’s banking operations come into the hands of Cainvest, ensuring that clients and employees will not experience any discontinuity.”
Two full-time staff will transfer with the business to Cainvest. Leading the team from Intertrust Bank will be Carmen Thompson-Lopez, chief manager of financial institutions. Garry John Wilkins, managing director of Cainvest Bank and Trust, said, “We look forward to welcoming Intertrust Bank’s clients and employees to our organization.
Cayman Islands is a great country from where to operate a leading institutional bank, and we are confident that Cainvest Bank and Trust has all the attributes required to grow and prosper in a sustainable manner.”