Sovereign-backed Summit Group adds Dubai-based Sanctuary Read more

  • Status: Current
  • Date: 2020
  • Sector:
    • Financial Services & Insurance
  • Location: Jersey, Guernsey, Switzerland, Cayman Islands, United Kingdom, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia
  • Buy & Build: 4

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Summit Group

Summit Group is a leading independent fiduciary and administrative services group. They specialise in providing tailored solutions that help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth and navigate an increasingly complex world. Sovereign has been supporting the business since 2020 through a strategy of Buy & Build to expand Summit Group’s range of services and geographical footprint.

Investment Background

Sovereign first became involved in what is now known as Summit Group in December 2020 when it backed the MBO of Aquitaine Group Ltd, a Guernsey-based private client trust and corporate services provider.

Aquitaine was established in 2008 and quickly built up a strong reputation for providing fiduciary and corporate services to ultra-high-net-worth individuals. This is a highly fragmented market, and both Aquitaine’s management team and Sovereign identified a significant opportunity to establish a leading multi-jurisdictional fiduciary business.

Value Creation

  • Expanded the Group's range of services and global footprint by joining forces with Summit Trust International in Switzerland, Garfield-Bennett in Jersey and Sanctuary in UAE
  • Appointed a new CEO, Matt Claxton, former Global Head of Corporate and Private Client Solutions at Apex Group, to succeed founder Adrian Pickering
  • Recruited Andrew Fisher, former CEO of Coutts & Co and CEO of Towry Group, as Non-Executive Chair
  • Further strengthened the management team with the hire of a CFO, CTO and CRO
  • Invested in new technology to enhance Summit Group's capability to work with multi-jurisdictional clients
  • Supported the creation of a new corporate brand and identity

The Story So Far

Using the resources and expertise of our specialist research team, we are continuously and forensically searching the market for acquisition opportunities. Shortly after we invested in Aquitaine we identified Summit Trust International as a leading name in the sector to join forces with, and added Federal Trust to consolidate Aquitaine’s position in Guernsey. Both joined the group in 2021. In 2023 Jersey-based Garfield-Bennett was welcomed to the Group, followed by Dubai-headquartered Sanctuary in January 2024

Together, these four acquisitions have significantly increased the reach of Summit Group in key locations around the world. Today, the Group has offices in Jersey, Guernsey, Switzerland, the Cayman Islands, the United Kingdom, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia, with plans to expand into other key jurisdictions.

The management team has been augmented with the appointment of a new Non-Executive Chair, Group CFO, CTO and CRO, and, most recently, a new CEO. Sovereign was instrumental in formulating and executing the succession plan which saw founder CEO, Adrian Pickering, take up a Non-Executive Director role. Matt Claxton, former Global Head of Corporate and Private Clients Solutions at Apex Group, and CEO of Corporate and Private Clients at Link Asset Services and Capita, was named as the new CEO in November 2022.

As well as a significant investment into a new company-wide software system to further develop its ability to work with clients across the world, Sovereign supported the 2023 launch of the Summit Group corporate identity.

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In their own words

Sovereign is a very supportive partner. We have a close relationship that is based on shared values and a genuine partnership. Sovereign’s continued investment will enable Summit Group to achieve its ambition of becoming one of the leading fiduciary businesses, via expansion into new jurisdictions and continued investment in systems and organisational capability.

Matt Claxton / Group CEO