Case Studies

Interview with the CEO of Equiom - Sheila Dean


There’s no doubt Equiom has come a long way in the last 30 years.

From our base in the Isle of Man, we’ve grown to achieve a truly global presence, and it was our ambitious growth plans that were the main driver for seeking external investment in 2013.

We had a specific focus on increasing client numbers and jurisdictional reach, and the most effect way to achieve this, while also increasing our breadth of expertise, was via acquisition.

This couldn’t have been achieved without investment. To be honest, LDC had already been courting us for two years to start building a relationship. So, when we decided to initiate the management buyout, LDC already knew a great deal about the business and the leadership team.

Likewise, we had come to know a lot about them. LDC’s management style is relationship driven, much like Equiom’s, so they were the perfect fit for us. They also really engaged with fully understanding our business and our ambitions.

If a business is looking at private equity backing, it’s absolutely essential that you can truly work in partnership with the investor to achieve common goals.

This deep understanding, combined with shared values, is a recipe for success. Over the years, our relationship with LDC has strengthened in conjunction with our international expansion.
It’s a harmonious and open partnership. Our management team has complete autonomy in running the operating businesses and LDC adds value by wholeheartedly supporting our organic and inorganic growth strategies.

The LDC team fully appreciates our focus on client service and understands that, in order to remain a leader in the developing market, we must continue to deliver multi-jurisdictional choice to both clients and intermediaries.

Since their investment, we’ve completed more than 20 acquisitions across a number of jurisdictions and LDC also boosted our organic growth by introducing us to its professional network, which provided a source of new work.

In that time, we’ve grown our workforce from just over 100 to more than 475, while revenues have quadrupled.

And, as we’ve grown as a business, my vision has grown. Today, my vision is to achieve scale and substance in all our jurisdictions, with the ultimate aim of becoming the premier trust and corporate services provider in each location. It’s great to have a global footprint, but until we’re viewed as real leaders in our field across all jurisdictions, I won’t rest. There’s also scope to further increase our global footprint and we have a strategy in place to achieve this.

We certainly have no plans to slow down!

The Deal

In September 2013, LDC backed the management buyout of Equiom, the Isle of Man-headquartered international professional services provider. The transaction provided the capital needed to support Equiom’s continued growth and acquisition plan. LDC has subsequently backed more than twenty acquisitions across a number of new jurisdictions with more than £22million of acquisition funding.

Business Overview

Equiom provides a range of innovative and effective business partnering solutions, supporting corporations and high net worth individuals around the world with their fiduciary and related support-service needs. In addition to its core trustee and company services, which account for 70 per cent of its business, Equiom services a number of niche business lines.