SMP Group announces management buyout, appoints new CEO

SMP Group CEO David Hudson with Chairman Steve McGowan.

Corporate, trust and professional services provider SMP Group announced a management buyout, as part of a planned leadership succession process. The MBO is subject to regulatory approval.

The company was created in 2007 through a management buyout from Fortis Intertrust. Under its new management, it grew into an international provider headquartered in the Isle of Man with more than 200 staff in seven offices, including in the Cayman Islands, Jersey, Malta, Hong Kong, the Bahamas and Switzerland.

During 2018, the company said management established a plan to ensure continuity for the business, its employees, and clients, culminating in a secondary management buyout and the appointment of David Hudson as the new group CEO.

Mr. Hudson is the group’s former business development director and has been a board member since 2011. In a press release, SMP Group said he had been “one of the driving forces behind the business’ impressive annual growth.”

Mr. Hudson said the management buyout as the next step for SMP was about both continuity and opportunity.

“In the many areas in which we excel, our clients, employees, and suppliers can expect continuity from board members who have been pivotal to our past successes. In the areas where we can still break new ground, we will continue to create and seize opportunities with the professional energy and creativity for which we have long been known.

“The backing we have secured gives us the opportunity to further invest in our people, culture and brand, and will facilitate a more aggressive growth strategy that harnesses the inherent skills and capabilities of our highly talented team,” he said.

Following regulatory approval, the company will also add Anne Baggesen, Ian Begley, Daniel Cadamy and Ted Pepper to its board. Steve McGowan will remain as a non-executive director and Stephen Turner continues as CEO of the Caribbean region.

Group Chairman Steve McGowan said, “We have built a business we can be extremely proud of, so I am beyond pleased to see it pass to talented leaders within the company who have been with us for a significant part of our journey. This will allow SMP to retain its distinctive character and offering in the marketplace. David is the ideal person to keep us moving along our unique path of success; we couldn’t be leaving the business in better hands.”

The buyout was undertaken with the support of Palatine Private Equity LLP, a U.K., mid-market, private equity house, based in Manchester, United Kingdom.

Partner Andy Lees said SMP was a business with a visionary leadership team, an entrepreneurial culture and  strong fundamentals.

“We believe it has huge potential both in its traditional markets and its emerging service offerings. We are looking forward to partnering with the team at this exciting stage in the company’s growth,” he said.

In the Cayman Islands, SMP Partners announced in November 2018 that it had completed the acquisition of Solaris Corporate Services Limited, the former corporate services affiliate of Solomon Harris, a Cayman law firm that recently merged with international firm Bedell Cristin. This followed the acquisitions of the trust, corporate, custody and fund administration business from Royal Bank of Canada, and the trust and corporate book of business from Cayman National in 2017.

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