Monday, February 12, 2007

Ogier to Complete Merger with WSmiths in the British Virgin Islands

It was announced that international offshore expert firm Ogier has completed its merger with WSmiths in the British Virgin Islands, thus giving the firm access to three further offshore jurisdictions. Both offshore financial services providers have announced about the merger in autumn 2006, and it became effective from February 1, 2007.

The newly merged firm continues to operate under the Ogier brand, providing legal and finduciary services in nine financial centres around the world, employing over 600 professional and support staff.

The merger extends Ogier's presence in the British Virgin Islands, Montevideo and Hong Kong, in addition to already existing branches in the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Ireland, Jersey, London, and an associated trust company in New Zealand. Ogier's chairman Jonathan White remains the head of the combined firm, while WSmith's managing partner Duncan Smith becomes the head of the Hong Kong office.

Ogier's chairman Jonathan White, which remains the head of the combined firm, has commented, “Since announcing the merger with WSmiths back in October we have very much been working as one group, integrating services and procedures and briefing our clients on our expanded capability. This now been formalised by the legal merger of the two businesses”.

WSmith's managing partner Duncan Smith, who has become the head of the Hong Kong office, added, “We are delighted by how well the merger has gone, feedback from our clients has been very positive as they see the opportunities arising from working with a truly multi jurisdictional group.”

One of the key benefits of the merger is that Ogier has created an extended network of offices covering all time zones and key financial markets, including the rapidly growing markets of Asia and China. Now the group will offer clients advice on all legal aspects concerning BVI, Cayman Islands, Guernsey and Jersey, plus associated fiduciary services.

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