Crestbridge Family Office Services’ (FOS) commitment to professional excellence has been reinforced recently, with four members of the team achieving exam success through key industry bodies.
Bethany Scott has passed the Chartered Governance Institute’s (CGI) International Qualifying Programme ‘Risk Management’ paper, while Marta Latek and Georgiana Lombada have both passed the Level 4 exam module of the CGI International Finance Administration professional qualification.
In addition, Joel Lucas-Villar has also completed the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) Diploma in International Trust Management, becoming a full STEP member as a result.
Bethany, Assistant Manager, has significant experience in both corporate and trust administration, while Marta and Georgiana, both Administrators, support the wider FOS team with a broad range of administrative services. Joel, Senior Administrator, is responsible for the day-to-day administration of a variety of client groups with a particular focus on investments.
Commenting on the team’s success, Paul Hunter, Managing Director, Crestbridge FOS, said:
“Crestbridge Family Office Services has long held a firm commitment to supporting our people with their professional development aspirations, to ensure we are able, as a team, to provide clients with first-class expertise, technical knowledge and cutting-edge insights. I’m delighted for Joel, Bethany, Marta and Georgina. Their latest success in key qualifications through the CGI and STEP is the result of hard work and determination, and reflects perfectly our shared approach to skills development.”
Three members of Crestbridge Family Office Services’ (FOS) team in Jersey have been recognised in a newly published directory featuring ‘elite’ practitioners in the international private client sector.
CEO Heather Tibbo as well as Directors Daniel Channing and Laura Parkes have all been included in the latest Private Client Global Elite directory, published this week by international legal publishing group Law.com.
Launched in 2017, the directory is collated through peer recommendation and serves as a highly respected point of reference for the world’s top private client and trust and estates litigation talent, as well as rising stars within the industry.
Commenting on the recognition, Heather said:
“This year marks a pivotal moment in the evolution of Crestbridge Family Office Services as an independent and privately owned business. What is not changing however, is the shared dedication and commitment we have as a team to providing clients with first-class service, and that is reflected in our strong representation in this year’s directory of elite private client practitioners.”
In this interview we sit down with Director, Laura Parkes, also appropriately named ‘Laura the Explorer’ as she shares insights into her journey – a challenging trek to raise funds and awareness for Autism Jersey.
Discover Laura’s motivation, the preparation involved and learn how you can get involved and support her fundraising efforts.
Tell us about the challenge you’re undertaking for Autism Jersey?
Having completed an Autism Jersey trek in 2017, to the summit of Mount Toubkal in the High Atlas Mountains, it is time for a new challenge. I will be joining a group of fellow #awesomeforautism trekkers over tough terrain, within an unforgiving climate, for five full days to and from the remote Lost City in Colombia to raise money for this fantastic charity.
To reach the 1200 ancient stone steps that lead up to the City, we will trek on steep, sometimes overgrown, and muddy trails, through lush jungle and river valleys, crossing clear streams. En route we pass indigenous Kogui communities and descendants of those early builders.
Why is the charity so special to you?
Autism Jersey holds a place in my heart, and I am a passionate supporter of their work. Their community spirit and drive to help support people on the autism spectrum and their families on a day-to-day basis is something truly special. Established in 2005 by a group of dedicated and committed parents, Autism Jersey is now the leading charity in Jersey having secure and well-developed expertise in the provision of autism-related services. They enable people on the autism spectrum to achieve their potential by advocating an inclusive community and providing personalised services to individuals, families, and carers.
How do you prepare for such a demanding trek?
Suffering arthritis in both knees, I don’t find these adventures or training for them easy they test me both physically and mentally. With the support of my friends and family, who join me on training treks and motivate me to keep going, I’m growing stronger each day. Since September I’ve clocked up 446km, 683k steps and 27 gym strength sessions. With only two months left I’ve increased the weekly training to include two back-to-back weekend walks consisting of at least 2-5 hours each day, a 800-1,000 step up session every Friday morning and an all-important stretch day to keep mobility.
How can others support you with this endeavour?
People’s support means everything to me, and to the incredible volunteers at Autism Jersey who are making a difference every single day. Whether it’s sharing my journey, contributing to fundraising efforts or simply spreading awareness about Autism Jersey, it all counts, and is enormously appreciated.
I would also like to thank Crestbridge Family Office Services for their donation and support.
You can donate at Fundraising for Autism Jersey. I’m funding my own trek myself, so every penny goes straight to the charity.
We wish Laura all the very best with this challenge and we will be following her journey along the way.
Heather Tibbo has once again been named in the eprivateclient 2024 Top 50 Most Influential List.
This marks Heather’s sixth consecutive year of inclusion in the prestigious list, which is compiled by the specialist private wealth publisher. Selection is determined by a number of criteria, from achievement and contribution, to those helping to shape the industry’s future.
In 2023 Heather took on the role of CEO at Crestbridge Family Office Services to continue to shape the firm’s next chapter as a privately-owned, independent business.
Heather commented: “ I would like to thank eprivateclient for my inclusion in this list which is, above all else, a reflection of the dedication and commitment of our team.
As we begin 2024 from our new offices in the heart of St Helier, we look forward to working alongside our clients and partners, exploring new and exciting opportunities together.”
As part of its longstanding commitment to nurturing talent and supporting professional development, Crestbridge Family Office Services’ have awarded promotions to four members of its team.
In the Client Accounting team, Elliott Carlow is promoted to Senior Manager, and within the Administration function Gavin Byrne has been promoted to Manager and Charlie Lucas and Marta Latek have also been recognised.
Effective from 1 January 2024, these promotions recognise the achievements and contribution of these team members to the business. We wish them the best of success in their new roles.
Heather Tibbo, Chief Executive, Crestbridge Family Office Services, congratulated those being promoted:
“Investing in and supporting the development of our people is central to our future success and growth, particularly as we continue our journey as an independent and privately owned business. I’m delighted to be able to recognise the effort and accomplishment of these four valued members of our team. I am immensely proud of the talent, enthusiasm, and ambition we have within the business, exemplified by Elliott, Gavin, Charlie, and Marta.”
A creative campaign aimed marking Crestbridge Family Office Services’ (FOS) tenth anniversary this year has earned the firm the “Marketing and PR Campaign of the Year” category at this year’s Wealthbriefing Channel Islands Awards.
Held in Jersey this week (7th December), the Awards celebrate excellence, knowledge and best practice across the private wealth sector in Jersey and Guernsey. Winners are selected by an independent panel of judges.
In particular, the Award recognises the firm’s creative use of communications to mark its milestone anniversary. Entitled REFLECT10NS, the campaign recognised the success and growth the firm has seen since it was established in 2013, while also focusing on its future journey and aspirations.
It aimed both to engender a sense of pride internally amongst the team, while also communicating to external stakeholders the importance it attaches to listening to clients to help improve future performance and first-class client service.
Crestbridge Family Office Services has been named “Best Independent Trust Company” at the tenth annual Wealthbriefing MENA awards.
The Awards, which were held in Dubai last week (16th November), celebrate and recognise excellence, knowledge and best practice across the private wealth sector in the Middle East and North Africa region, with winners being selected by an independent panel of judges.
This award serves to underline Crestbridge’s proposition in the Middle East market, where it has developed strong relationships built up over a number of years, with the team supporting the global and increasingly complex objectives of a growing number of families based in the region.
Crestbridge Family Office Services CEO Heather Tibbo commented on the award win:
“Gaining recognition through this award is a reflection of our unique proposition in the Middle East, a rapidly evolving market where we have earned a leading reputation thanks to our team’s ability to understand the dynamics, needs and demands of our clients.
“It is testament to our team’s knowledge of the domestic landscape, of our Islamic Finance capabilities and of our global reach – and it is fitting that this award comes as we celebrate our tenth anniversary this year, as we look forward and continue to enhance our proposition both in the Middle East and beyond.”
Crestbridge Family Office Services Director Danielle Cottignies has been awarded a Diploma in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) from the Corporate Governance Institute (CGI), as the firm continues to focus on the evolving purpose-driven priorities of the next generation.
The industry-benchmark qualification, which Danielle passed with Distinction, takes a high-level strategic look at the effective implementation of ESG solutions into an organisation’s framework, including how ESG data can be brought into business modelling and delivery through reporting.
Designed to support leaders in the ESG space, the qualification explores the evolving ESG landscape, how organisations can prioritise ESG, how to implement effective ESG strategies and how to lead a successful and sustainable ESG transformation.
This qualification adds to Danielle’s impressive resume which already includes a number of industry-leading qualifications in this area, including the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment’s (CISI) Sustainable and Responsible Investment Certificate.
With over ten years’ experience in financial services across multiple jurisdictions, Danielle manages a large team administering the portfolios of high-profile international families. Named as a ‘future leader’ in the eprivateclient 2023 Channel Islands NextGen List, she is also involved in the learning and development of junior staff at Crestbridge Family Office Services.
The rapidly evolving geopolitical and regulatory landscape is prompting families to call increasingly on outsourced experts for specialist support around legacy and succession planning, risk management and sustainability, according to speakers at this year’s Jersey Finance Private Wealth Conference.
Held recently, the event (‘Strategies for a World in Transition’) of which Crestbridge Family Office Services was a sponsor, was attended by Heather Tibbo, CEO, Daniel Channing, Director and John Harris, Chair.
Across the keynote speakers and panel sessions, key issues highlighted at the event included:
- The importance of working with partners and advisers to pre-empt imminent global risks, including AI, market instability, political and social volatility and climate change
- The growing appetite to integrate legacy planning and sustainability into wealth strategies
- Legacy for families is as much about the transfer of values as it is about the transfer of wealth
- The appeal of stable jurisdictions is set to grow even further in a world that is increasingly volatile
Commenting on the event, Heather Tibbo said:
“The clear message was that political, regulatory and legislative change is prompting families to call on the expertise of their advisers and partners more and more as they try to navigate an unknown future. Being on the front foot is really important, and we’re absolutely seeing that play out amongst forward-thinking families who are focused on robust, innovative planning and want to ensure an impactful legacy.”
Daniel Channing added:
“Families are alive to the risks the current environment presents – what these families do however recognise is that a common purpose and shared values can provide a stable core around which they can find stability. To truly harness and implement the benefit of that purpose and value families recognise the need for specialist advice and sophisticated governance. These families are in a world that provides significant challenges, but that also offers up much opportunity too. With the support of external experts and with a solid foundation and structuring options through jurisdictions like Jersey, families are being positive in their outlook, setting themselves up well for future wealth transfer and investment.”
Recent years have seen a clear trend for high and ultra-high net worth individuals and families to move increasingly towards a Virtual Family Office (VFOs) model to help manage their increasingly diverse assets, investments and business affairs – something that Crestbridge Family Office Services director Daniel Channing explained to eprivateclient.
In essence, a VFO is a wide group of consultants servicing the assets and supporting the specialist needs of families from afar, with responsibilities usually divided amongst the group and clearly delineated, as opposed to the more traditional, physical family office with salaried staff.
A number of factors are driving this trend, Mr Channing explained.
In particular, multigenerational family dynamics, the shifting needs of the next generation and a greater diversity of focus are making family interests more complex – in terms of family members, ‘branches’ and geographies, as well as investment interests, businesses and asset classes.
This broadening span is, Mr Channing said, a key driver to family offices having to scale in both size, expertise and jurisdictional reach, leading to a greater propensity to turn to trusted external partners to support those complex areas.
In addition, the uptake of the VFO model is also being driven by the increasingly challenging landscape of international regulation and requirements around, for instance, reporting relating to more diverse investment strategies or beneficial ownership disclosure.
These factors are ‘the stick’ – all demanding more of families and precipitating the demand for specialist expertise; expertise that need not necessarily be ‘on the ground’ locally but could be tapped into wherever it is in the world.
In addition, the continued progression of communications technology has meant that the transition to remote and hybrid working practices has been relatively smooth. This is ‘the carrot’ – the enabler that has meant the shift to accessing the best expertise, wherever it is, is absolutely possible.
“The VFO has become a very viable option for families at all levels,” Mr Channing said.
“Getting the very best expertise and support is what families ultimately want – and actually it can be far more accessible, more flexible and more cost effective to be able to tap into that expertise remotely or virtually.”
Mr Channing explained that a key benefit of a VFO was its flexibility.
Rather than a fixed office with a static staff, a VFO functions as a group of advisors and consultants orbiting the family, and ‘departments’ can be added or removed with greater ease than traditional recruiting.
They enable families to respond to changes in the market or indeed the family itself with speed and without incurring the fixed, longer-term costs of salaries and rent. They also allow families to access a wider range of expertise and experience than traditional FOs.
“If a family, for instance, wanted to move assets to a new jurisdiction,” explained Mr Channing, “it can be much faster, easier and potentially cheaper to consult with a remote team on a temporary basis than to set up a physical office and hire salaried employees.”
VFOs can also be very well equipped to deal with generational change in the family. As wealth cascades down and disperses through inheritance to multiple family members, more advisors can be consulted with this in mind, as and when necessary – for instance in new markets where a family has little existing experience or is not as comfortable.
“Family offices are having to become more sophisticated quite quickly,” Mr Channing said.
“A virtual structure can allow them to cope with that rapid change much better than a traditional approach, allowing them to get access to the very best financial advice, remain agile, and enabling them to meet the changing needs of the market.”
Such a fundamental shift in operations is not without its challenges, Mr Channing warned.
While a VFO can be very nimble, the nature of the ‘office’ means that direct communication between advisors, who may have entirely different responsibilities, can be difficult.
“It’s important to be mindful that VFOs have the potential to create ‘silos’, where consultants do not interact, and this can lead to opportunities slipping through the cracks or a lack of efficiency,” Mr Channing advised.
“Clear and effective leadership is necessary to prevent mistakes and losses due to this lack of communication.”
In addition, while VFOs are very flexible in addressing logistical and regulatory challenges, they can struggle when it comes to technology, Mr Channing warned.
He explained that they can be less secure than traditional FOs, who will run their own servers and house their own data, and because the consultants all work for different firms, they may prove to be slower than more centralised operations in adopting, for example, the potential benefits of AI systems.
“While there are challenges in the operation of VFOs, most can be solved with a focus on strong leadership, regular and easy access to the family, and a clear focus on the mandate – while assigning an experienced, trusted service provider that can act as a central point of contact and liaison for all parties can be an effective approach,” Mr Channing said.
“If the founders remain close to the operation and ensure a high level of cooperation between the advisors involved,” added Mr Channing, “then there is no reason why the VFO can’t be an incredibly exciting opportunity for families to grow their wealth and secure their holdings for years to come.”