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Group Annual Review 2011 Invigorated by challenging markets

Group Annual Review 2011 Invigorated by challenging ... - Bedell

Group

Group overviewOur strategy is to keep investing anddeveloping to ensure that we remain one ofthe leading Channel Islands-headquarteredmulti-jurisdictional legal and fiduciary providers.The past couple of years have brought challenges for Bedell,as they have for our clients and peers. But they have beeninvigorating as well as challenging.They have given us the opportunity to reshape and extendthe business, making our service even more client focusedand relevant to the new economic landscape.They have stimulated us to seek out new markets andopportunities.Above all, they have tested the way we treat our ownpeople and our clients. I have always believed that our firmis distinguished by its culture of respect for everyone, and itsrecognition that the back office is as important in deliveringfor clients as the partner in front. Adherence to our values hasenabled us to retain both clients and people through thesedifficult times. Despite pressure on turnover and margins inparts of the business, we have avoided any negative impacton fee earner numbers and are well resourced to take fulladvantage of the upturn.Market conditions and financial performanceThat upturn appears to be well under way, even if a doubledip cannot be entirely ruled out. New business flows in crossborderwork – a major engine of our business – are improvingstrongly and the momentum continues to build.We benefit from having two well-balanced strings to our bow.For Bedell Cristin, our law firm, business has been relativelyflat until recently; but our Bedell Trust fiduciary business, lessexposed to the economic cycle, has been thriving.Private wealth management has remained a strong sourceof business throughout the downturn, based on long-termclient relationships. Corporate work, being more transactionbased, is more influenced by what goes on in the markets.But it is now picking up: private equity activity is increasingas investors see new buying opportunities, and evensecuritisation is returning from the wilderness as the bankingsector recovers.Over the past year we have concentrated on generatingconsistent, good quality business from our existing andnew business contacts. Good growth in the trust companyto some extent offset the reduction in activity for the lawfirm, and both turnover and margins were robust in thecircumstances.In the current climate of austerity, the offshore world hascome under further scrutiny. However, we remain confidentthat the locations in which we operate will continue to berespected and encouraged as international finance centresof integrity.4 Bedell Annual Review 2011

Richard GerwatManaging PartnerWe build successful long-term relationshipsby listening carefully to what clients want andhow they want it – and then delivering it withuncompromising professionalism.Strategic highlightsWe build successful long-term relationships by listeningcarefully to what clients want and how they want it – andthen delivering it with uncompromising professionalism. Ourstrategy is to keep investing and developing to ensure that weremain one of the leading Channel Islands-headquartered legaland fiduciary providers. We aim to provide a comprehensivemulti-jurisdictional service from offices in key finance centresaround the world; but we will expand to be where our clientsneed us to be, not to grow for growth’s sake.In an exciting year we made a series of important steps inpursuit of this strategy. The highlights are listed on page 3,and you can read more about them in the following pages.Corporate responsibilityWe recognise our responsibility to participate actively in thecommunities where we operate.This is not just about signing cheques: we engage directlyin local initiatives and encourage all our staff to get personallyinvolved. We match the funds they raise for their chosencharities, and support a number of initiatives as a firm –particularly Brighter Futures, which does vital work fordisadvantaged families in Jersey.We have worked with experts to assess our carbon footprintand taken action to reduce it. In the past year we have alsocut our paper consumption significantly by adopting doublesided printing and a firmwide programme of electronic filing.OutlookIt is perhaps an indication of our confidence in the futurethat we made five new partner appointments in 2010: in ourcorporate, litigation and private wealth management practicesin Jersey, Guernsey, London and Mauritius.In the year ahead we look forward to making further progressin an improving economic climate. As always, this will beclient-led: aimed at attracting and retaining the best talent,giving our clients the best service, and being where they wantus to be.5 Bedell Annual Review 2011

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