Highvern celebrates 50 year anniversary – the value of perspective

In an extract from his recent New year Communication to all clients, Martin Hall, Managing Director, considers how Highvern has adapted to change over the decades whilst retaining absolute focus on its core promise to clients.

Little over two years since our MBO, in 2019 we are actually celebrating 50 years since the company that is Highvern Trustees Limited was incorporated and first began to offer fiduciary services. 

Having been formed in 1969, right at the start of Jersey becoming an International Finance Centre, the Highvern business has been at the centre of this industry throughout and is increasingly establishing itself as the high-end, offshore professional services firm of choice.

All successful businesses continually seek to renew themselves to reflect the changing world they serve, and Highvern shows it is a perfect example of just that. Since becoming independent, Highvern has already launched a new fund administration business to complement its Family Office, Trust and Corporate propositions, all of which are going from strength to strength. Nevertheless, continuity of relationship and expertise across the decades are what lie at the heart of really good trusteeship, governance and administration.  So a 50 year anniversary is a chance to reflect on what combining all that change and continuity really means over such a long period.

Not only have a number of us been with the company for a significant part of that time but a number of our clients have too.  We were here when the UK joined the European Community way back in 1973 and, as Brexit from the EU looms, and trade wars continue, it is a reminder that world events of this nature do come along every now and again and it demonstrates just how important it is to work closely with your clients and their advisors along the way.

Here are just a few more major global economic or political events that impacted the growth and preservation of wealth over our first fifty years, events we have lived through and successfully navigated:

  • Energy crisis (1970s)
  • Latin American sovereign debt crisis (1980s)
  • Stock market crash (late 1980s)
  • Asia markets crisis and Dotcom bubble (late 1990s)
  • Global financial crisis (2007-08)

Over Highvern’s lifetime, we have also seen major structural changes in the big western economies and the shift eastwards, notably in the stellar growth of the Chinese and Indian economies to positions that will increasingly dominate global trends and decision making in future.

Who knows what challenges the next fifty years will bring, but it is comforting to know that Highvern has a track record of successfully nurturing the structures and wealth of the families it serves through such times and, naturally, we look forward to doing exactly the same between now and when we celebrate our centenary!