Robert Browning and Peter Le Brocq, the respective leaders of Microgen and Touchstone, comment on the recently announced merger of the two businesses.
The announcement that Microgen and Touchstone will be merging is an important step in the evolution of both our businesses and will have a significant impact on the market we serve. Having had time to talk to employees, customers and the industry about the rationale for the merger and opportunity it presents, we’re delighted with the great feedback we’ve received so far and we wanted to share some further insights with you.
From a wider market perspective, the Fiduciary, Trust and Corporate Services markets we have both been serving for many years now are going through a once in a generation change. The industry continues to grow significantly and is being driven by the demand for global coverage, increased regulatory oversight, changing fee models and continuing cost pressure. As a result, we recognise the need to deliver flexible cross-jurisdictional technology to support the regulatory agenda, data insights and the necessary automation that will be ever more critical to the success of the next generation of leading providers.
The significance of this transaction for our companies and the broader market therefore cannot be under-estimated. Overnight we have become the leading provider of technology to the Trust and Corporate Services market – a combined team of over 150 people with an established physical presence in key markets including Jersey, Guernsey, Cyprus, Singapore, Australia and the United Kingdom – we are now uniquely placed to meet the evolving needs of this global industry.
Having watched each other closely over the years as competitors, we know very well the strengths that each of us brings and feel very excited about combining those strengths to create something even greater. This merger will uniquely enable us to provide the global coverage necessary, combined with the scale to support and further develop our capabilities to meet the requirements of this rapidly evolving market.
For now, we know the focus must be for product investment and customer service to absolutely continue as planned for both of us. This is because our products, NavOne and 5Series, are proudly two of the leading products in the market and having established significant customer bases on both platforms, there is naturally no plan for either product to be sunset or superseded by the other. Instead, those products will continue to evolve and in addition we aim to build out new capabilities, such as regulatory and client self-service portals, to meet the evolving needs of the markets we serve.
We will also continue to take advantage of complementary partnerships we have established and leverage those across both businesses. And that’s just a start, we know there is so much more we will learn from each other in the process of merging the businesses and more innovation and product development that we’ve not even yet thought of.
We’ve also had a great response to the news that as part of this merger, Keith Hale will be joining the combined business as Executive Chairman. Keith brings a wealth of experience, most recently as CEO of Multifonds, a leading software provider in the fund administration sector. Keith’s initial focus will be to assist us with the integration of the two businesses and to help define the joint strategic plans for the combined business over the next few years. We look forward to working with Keith on the development of the plans for the business.
This merger is still subject to competition authority clearance and that is expected to take up to five weeks – we will confirm when it has completed. In the meantime, we will continue to operate as we do today and your contacts remain the same, it’s very much business as usual.
We are really looking forward to working together and bringing together Microgen and Touchstone. We know that combining the two companies isn’t an easy task, but we are very confident that the effort will be worth it. This is about positioning ourselves better for our customers’ future and as developments in the new company are made, we will continue to announce updates here on the progress we are making.
Robert and Peter
Robert is Managing Director at TrustQuay