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PCD Magazine article: The Big Interview with Crestbridge’s award winning CEO

News
20 June 2024

Crestbridge Family Office Services CEO Heather Tibbo has helped grow the business into one of the industry’s most innovative and successful firms. A lawyer by training, Heather has featured in ePrivateclient’s 50 Most Influential List for five consecutive years and has been the recipient of a number of other prestigious awards and accolades. We recently met in London to discuss the sector’s latest trends, and what the future has in store for this thriving and dynamic enterprise.

Tell me a bit about what’s been happening in the business over the last year or so.

It’s been an exciting and extremely busy year for us. In 2023 New York-based Fund Services firm Gen II agreed to purchase the Crestbridge institutional business. With the acquisition now complete our private client business Crestbridge Family Office Services has maintained its status as a privately owned and independent provider, and we have ambitious plans for how we can continue to grow, both in scale and reputation. We have also been celebrating our ten-year anniversary, and we recently moved to new offices in the heart of St Helier.

In early 2020 you also launched Crestbridge Fiduciary with leading US Fiduciary Services provider Willow Street. How are things progressing across the Atlantic?

One of the many benefits of our independence and private ownership is our ability to respond quickly to trends we identify in the marketplace. We were one of the first in our sector to recognise the growing importance of the US as a destination of choice for international families, and our vision and values were a strong fit with those of Willow Street. The venture has gone from strength to strength, and is greatly helped by Willow Street’s Wyoming location, which offers a number of valuable jurisdictional advantages to our clients. It is notable that, since establishing Crestbridge Fiduciary, a number of others in the private client sector have followed suit. We were also pleased to have recently appointed industry professional Darrell King as Managing Director, Americas, based in New York.

You are always quick to recognise and praise your team when you receive industry awards and other accolades. Tell us about your team, and its culture.

Everything we accomplish is a team effort. Regardless of who is being recognised or awarded I try never to lose sight of that. We also work hard to maintain a structure and organisational culture that allows everyone to feel heard, valued, and empowered. We are extremely aware of the fact that the only way we can continue delivering the high standard of service and support that our clients have come to expect is to first ensure that we are looking after one another, and working together towards common goals. Our business is ultimately the sum of its people, and I strongly encourage our leadership team to make the employee experience a top strategic priority.

As a Channel Islands business the pool of available talent is obviously finite. How do you approach recruitment, and ensure that the culture of the firm is preserved?

Finding good people is certainly something upon which we focus a lot of our attention. We have worked hard to create and preserve a collaborative, supportive culture within the firm so recruitment is as much about fit as it is about experience and technical skill. The firm continues to grow strongly, and we have also recently implemented some organisational changes following the sale of the Crestbridge institutional business.

These included the strengthening of our senior central services team who, by providing a more robust layer of managerial support, are enabling our leadership team to be more focused ‘on’ the business – our clients and client service– rather than ‘in’ the business – its day-to-day functional management. The new roles cover areas including Risk and Compliance, Human Resources, and IT, and have allowed us to bring in a huge amount of industry experience and new expertise, and position ourselves strongly to scale our business in the coming years.

Which markets remain attractive for your growth?  Are there any other regions you are looking to develop? 

A key focus for us has always been and remains the Middle East. We visit frequently and are extremely committed to the region. We started building our presence in the Middle East 11 years ago because a colleague had strong connections there. I’m a firm believer in the importance of a clear and distinct value proposition, and we don’t try to be all things to all people.

We also want to continue growing our US business, and we’re seeing increased interest from Asia too. Singapore has a well-supplied market on its doorstep, however, despite it growing in sophistication it’s still quite nascent as a jurisdiction. Clients in the region are often interested in diversification, and a different approach, so will often contact us.

Finally, given the importance of intermediaries to our business, and with so many based in London, this is always a market we pay close attention to.

A critical and closely related consideration in this area is retention, which is only possible by investing in the team, actively managing training and career progression, and creating new development opportunities. We make a point of encouraging senior colleagues to share their experience and insights with others in the firm, whether through coaching, mentoring or through more informal, ad-hoc methods.

What’s your perception of the younger generations coming through today, and what skills do they need to succeed in the industry?

We have some outstanding young talent in the business and already I see many of them emerging as strong leaders of the future. I think Covid has had a significant impact on

many younger people, as it interrupted their careers at a critical point of development. I think the work that we do has value in helping younger people develop confidence and good interpersonal skills by working face to face with people. However, I think that’s where working from home can present certain challenges. Not only are we a highly collaborative team by nature, but as a high-touch service business so much of what we do is underpinned by earning and nurturing a client’s trust over time. That can only happen by being present and working on developing the right skills and a high level of emotional intelligence.

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Crestbridge Family Office Services adds further strength to its senior team

News
17 June 2024

Crestbridge Family Office Services continues to prove itself a key employer of choice for senior industry talent.

Adding to its diverse and highly accomplished team, the award-winning firm is pleased to announce the appointment of RBC Services’ Mark Beer as its newest Director. Mark will lead a team of client-facing professionals dedicated to meeting the multi-jurisdictional needs of UHNW families. He will also oversee the administration and management of complex offshore trust and company structures.

With over 20 years’ experience in the Finance industry, Mark has extensive expertise in the wealth management and estate requirements of UHNW families across a breadth of jurisdictions. He specialised in working alongside prominent North American families, providing the management of various asset classes, including investment portfolios, trading companies, private equity investments, commercial and residential real estate, and artwork.

Mark holds the ICSA Certificate and Diploma in Offshore Finance and Administration and is a fellow of Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA).

Heather Tibbo, CEO of Crestbridge Family Office Services, said “We are delighted to welcome Mark into the firm at what is an exciting time for us. His skills and background will enable us to further enhance and refine the service we provide to our clients, and we are pleased to have attracted a director of his calibre.”

In recent months the firm has capitalised on its reaffirmed independence and private ownership by further adding to its number, including substantially strengthening its mid-tier management. This in turn has enabled the firm’s senior leadership to focus more on its long-term strategy, and on client engagement. This newest addition to the team adds yet more strength and depth to its offer, enabling it support clients’ ever broader, more complex, and more global interest.

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Triple recognition for Crestbridge Family Office Services in NextGen Leaders List

News
3 June 2024

Three members of the Crestbridge Family Office Services (FOS) team have been recognised in a newly published list identifying future leaders from across the private client industry in the Crown Dependencies.

Senior Manager Andreia Sheppard and Senior Administrators Stephanie de Sousa and Hannah Le Claire have all been included in the ‘2024 eprivateclient Crown Dependencies NextGen Leaders’ list, published this week (3 June). The list recognises and celebrates young practitioners working in diverse areas of the private client sector in Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.

Those recognised in the list are judged on a number of factors, including individual expertise and achievements over the past 12 months, career progression, feedback from colleagues, and the performance of their company.

With more than 18 years’ experience in the finance industry, Andreia joined Crestbridge FOS in 2023 and specialises in trust and wealth management structures for high-net worth and ultra-high net worth families from the Middle East and Europe. She has extensive experience with structures holding luxury assets, including works of art and gold as well as entities involved with the management of luxury yachts. Responsible for managing a team of administrators, Andreia also holds the STEP Diploma in International Trust Management.

Meanwhile, Stephanie has over 11 years’ experience in dealing with complex and sensitive structures on behalf of families. Working with both private wealth and corporate vehicles, she has assisted with the establishment and ongoing administration of wealth management structures for UHNWIs in the Middle East, USA and South America. A mentor to other team members, Stephanie is also fully qualified with a STEP Diploma in International Trust Management.

Hannah has worked in the international financial services industry for more than a decade. In her current role, she is responsible for the administration of a variety of client groups, working across structures including discretionary and charitable trusts, private trust companies, companies and foundations, holding a variety of assets including shares in private companies, private equity investments and real estate in multiple jurisdictions. She is currently studying towards a STEP qualification.

Paul Hunter, Managing Director, Crestbridge Family Office Services, said: “Crestbridge has featured consistently in this list for a number of years, reflecting the focus we have on attracting and nurturing talent and providing an environment for our people to thrive. As we embark on our new journey and we continue to be an independent and privately owned business and with a keen eye on our future growth, never has this focus been more important. I’m delighted for Andreia, Stephanie and Hannah, whose energy, enthusiasm and collaborative approach makes them true future leaders of our industry and fantastic ambassadors for Crestbridge.”

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Investing in people and relationships

News
20 May 2024

Crestbridge Family Office Services’ Chief Executive Officer, Heather Tibbo was recently named ‘Best CEO’ at the recent WealthBriefing European Awards 2024. In addition, the firm was also recognised for its recent tenth anniversary celebrations, winning the ‘Best Marketing or PR Campaign’ led by Head of BD and Marketing, Lesley Piner.

In this interview Heather Tibbo discusses her recent award win and gives insight into leading an award-winning team.

What was your winning formula, that explains why you won?
My philosophy has always been to place an emphasis on people and relationships. That means bringing together a highly driven, passionate team that can demonstrate impressive technical understanding, but that is also acutely client-focused.

Instilling a culture where we are collectively empowered to put the client at the centre of everything we do has been critical to our shared success over the past ten years, when we have grown from being a small boutique team to a major force serving the needs of global and influential families.

Please describe how your colleagues have made a difference?
Our team ethic is at the core of what we stand for – we work in a truly collaborative, supportive, open and honest way, and place real value on providing professional development opportunities and nurturing a working environment that is both enjoyable and rewarding.

I firmly believe that it is because of that focus on our shared strengths as a team, at all levels, that we are able to deliver such high quality, tailored, flexible solutions to our clients, with a true relationship management focus.

What are you going to do to remain competitive and stay ahead?
We’ve managed to achieve consistent growth in both scale and stature over the past ten years – but we are under no illusions that the sector remains highly competitive and increasingly complex. As an independent and privately-owned business though, we believe we are in a strong position to approach the future with confidence, being agile and ready to adapt to the shifting needs of families. We also recognise that the best way to provide the best service is to look after our own people, and we do that by offering market-leading professional development opportunities and supporting wellbeing.

With that in mind, our relationship-driven approach is going to remain critical – as the world becomes more sophisticated and as client needs become more bespoke, actively listening to families and being ready and able to respond to their needs quickly and  effectively will be a real differentiator for us. We are a driven, independent-spirited team and are passionate about what we do, and I believe that will continue to resonate with families.

Where do you see the wealth management industry, and your part of it, going in the next five years?
There’s no doubt that the future of the family office space is going to be defined by the shifting demands of the NextGen – and those needs will be increasingly diverse and sophisticated. In particular, international mobility is set to be increasingly important as families become more geographically spread and multi-jurisdictional in their approach, whilst the more purpose-driven approach of the NextGen is going to increasingly embed concepts such as philanthropy, impact investing and seed funding in family frameworks. Digital integration and the adoption of AI is also likely to become more and more important in terms of how the NextGen operates and communicates.

For all those supporting families, these are fundamental shifts, and it will be those who possess deep technical cross-border expertise, who are agile, who are proactive in listening to clients, and who have developed strong relationships with their clients who will be successful.

This article was published in Acclaim magazine.

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Laura Parkes, Director
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Laura “The Explorer” Parkes, Director, recently completed a trek to the Colombian jungle raising funds for Autism Jersey. 12 intrepid souls trekked for four days to and from the Lost City in Colombia.

In this reflective diary, Laura shares insights into the challenge and the conditions she faced.

Day 1: Welcome to the jungle

With a mixture of excitement and apprehension I arrived at the expedition. Our guide was a seasoned veteran whose insight would prove invaluable in the coming days.

Setting off, reality quickly set in. The going was tougher than anticipated, and a taste of things to come. The trek was assessed as ‘orange’+ 2 rating(‘red’, the only higher rating, being Mount Everest Base Camp). My training preparation immediately paid dividends.

Days 2-4: The unforgiving path

I won’t sugar-coat it – the trek was savage. Rising at 5am, we’d be fed and on the move by 6am. We typically trekked for six hours before stopping for lunch. This alone felt like an entire day. We then trekked for a further five hours in the afternoon arriving at camp for around 6pm, then went straight into a natural stream to cool off before dinner, having achieved over 35K steps and burnt over 5k calories!

The relentless heat and saturating humidity pushed our physical and mental limits. But we drew strength from one another, over the rugged terrain and slippery river crossings.

The biggest challenge was the relentless 40+ degree heat and 80% humidity. Dehydration was a constant risk, requiring over a gallon of water a day and plenty of electrolytes. But the aching beauty of the jungle, and the overwhelming sense of freedom it gave made it all worthwhile. Even if we had to share it with scorpions, giant spiders, snakes, leeches, ticks and fleas.

An indigenous shaman we met explained their way of life and deep connection to the land. It was inspiring and a total contrast to the complexities of our modern lives at home. His mantra? Stay positive, as positivity breeds.

Day 5: Lessons learned. Memories created.

I am so proud of our group’s resilience. With ages spanning 37 to 73, each completed the challenge, showcasing the power of teamwork and determination, and creating life-long bonds along the way.

Returning home, I reflected on a renewed appreciation for life’s simple pleasures. Cooling off in a stream, or seeing children learning in a remote school reminded me of the importance of gratitude.

Since returning our group has donated £500 towards building a new school closer to the children we witnessed who trek 2-3 hours a day to learn.

The trek is expected to raise in excess of £20,000 so a huge thank you to everyone who has donated and supported the charity. They will use the funds towards a new centre for Jersey Autism.

The journey was tough but transformative, and the experience will remain with me forever. My biggest lesson? Your potential is limitless. You can always work harder and push further. I also realised some things which seemed important to me really weren’t. I will treasure the overwhelming sense of freedom from being off-grid.

I’m looking forward to future adventures (yes, I’m not done yet!) and grateful to have been part of this incredible experience while raising funds for Autism Jersey.

If you would like to support the charity you can donate here: Laura Parkes (Nee Hardwick) is fundraising for Autism Jersey (justgiving.com)

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Swapping office attire for lycra and sequins, Rebecca Pitcher, Assistant Marketing Manager is participating in the White Collar Cabaret, a 15-week challenge resulting in a circus aerial acrobatics style performance.

So, what is it all about? In this Q&A Rebecca discusses this unique challenge.

What is White Collar Cabaret?

It is a challenge involving aerial which is a type of acrobatics suspended in the air, involving strength, flexibility, and agility. Ten novice ladies have to work really hard for 15 weeks, enduring callouses, bruises and more to put together an aerial performance on the  14 April 2024 at The Jersey Arts Centre. The four-minute performance will be suspended from either the hoop or the silk sling (a special type of fabric).

Who is running the challenge?

We are being trained by Hayley Wray (our patient coach) from Aerial Antics, a local company offering aerial classes from beginner through to advanced.  Hayley is working amazingly hard to get us performance ready – we couldn’t have done it without her. Hayley used to be an aerialist in a New York circus, she is also a firefighter, personal trainer, entrepreneur and has recently appeared on ITV’s Ninja Warrior!

 How are you raising money?

We are raising money for two very worthy charities, Healing Waves Ocean Therapy and Mind Jersey. Healing Waves enables individuals despite their condition and/or disability both neurological and physical to access the ocean in a safe way to participate in water sport activities. Each of us have been tasked with raising sponsorship and a percentage of the ticket sales will also be going to the charities.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to Crestbridge Family Office Services for making a donation to the charities.

How am I feeling about the challenge?

Very nervous and scared that I might fall off in front of everyone! However, that is the nature of aerial and I really wanted to push myself with physical challenge this year. It’s been much tougher than I expected (and I’m still waiting for my six pack to appear!). I have lots of bruises, but I know the sense of achievement will be worth it. My two daughters, Mia (5) and Eva (2), are coming along to watch me and I can’t wait to see their little faces – I hope it will inspire them that with hard work and consistent effort anything is possible…

If you would like to support the charities you can donate here: White Collar Cabaret – Act 2 – JustGiving

And you can buy tickets here:  White Collar Cabaret – Act 2! – Jersey Arts Centre

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Double success for Crestbridge Family Office Services at Wealthbriefing European Awards

News
25 March 2024

Crestbridge Family Office Services has achieved double success at this year’s Wealthbriefing European Awards.

At the awards ceremony, which was held in London last week, Crestbridge Family Office Services’ CEO Heather Tibbo was named ‘Best CEO’ in recognition of her outstanding leadership in what has been a pivotal year for the firm.

With over 25 years of experience in supporting the needs of UHNW individuals and families, Heather was instrumental in establishing Crestbridge Family Office Services ten years ago and took on the role of CEO of the business last year as it continued to operate as a privately owned, independent firm following the sale of the Crestbridge institutional business.

As well as continuing to provide a comprehensive range of cross-border services to families and private clients, Heather is also responsible for driving forward it’s growth strategy and leading the evolution of the business, including moving to new headquarters in Jersey at the end of last year.

In addition, Crestbridge Family Office Services was also recognised at the Awards for its recent tenth anniversary celebrations, winning the ‘Best Marketing or PR Campaign’ category led by Lesley Piner, Head of BD and Marketing.  Entitled REFLECT10NS, the campaign showcased the success and growth the firm has seen since being established in 2013, while also focussing on its future aspirations and its commitment to offering first-class client service.

Winners of the Awards, now in their eleventh year, are selected by a panel of expert industry judges, and are designed to celebrate excellence in private wealth management products and services and professional excellence across Europe.

Commenting on the double award win, Heather said:

“It is a great source of pride to be recognised by Wealthbriefing through these two awards, which affirm the reputation Crestbridge Family Office Services has built up over the past decade for service excellence, expertise and attentive client relationships. They also reflect our forward-thinking team approach. While we have achieved great things over the past ten years, our absolute focus now is on the future and the next exciting stage of our journey together, as a privately-owned, independent business.”

International Women’s Day 2024

As part of our tenth anniversary celebrations, we’ve been reflecting on what matters to us – as a team, as individuals, and as a business – and the beliefs and actions that shape success.

Creating an environment where each of us can thrive, regardless of gender is fundamental to our team culture and business progression, and always will be. Today we celebrate International Women’s Day.

Every day we #InspireInclusion

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Qualification success for Crestbridge Family Office Services

News
9 February 2024

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.”

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Triple recognition for Crestbridge Family Office Services in private client elite list

News
2 February 2024

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.”