STM Group Plc was formed as a strategic investment company specifically to build a leading financial services group operating in the international corporate and trustee service provider (CTSPs) sector. This is being achieved through acquiring, consolidating and growing high-quality existing CTSPs which offer complementary products and services and that operate from complementary jurisdictions.
The traditional business of CTSPs is to administer and manage personal, family and commercial assets and income streams in tax efficient jurisdictions. The economic factors for CTSPs include demand for more sophisticated tax planning, particularly for high net worth individuals (HNWIs) and those approaching retirement age, and the increased movement and migration of individuals, as evidenced, for example, by the growth in the number of British expatriates living in Southern Spain.
The CTSP market is fragmented in nature, comprising a small number of very large international financial services groups and a large number of relatively small trust and company management businesses regulated by, and operating out of, single offshore jurisdictions. The Directors believe that there is a clear opportunity for consolidation in this market.
STM's first acquisition was Fidecs Group Limited, which was renamed STM Fidecs Limited when the Company was admitted to AIM in March 2007. Founded in 1989 by STM's Deputy Chairman, Tim Revill, Fidecs operates principally from Gibraltar and specialises in financial planning both for HNWIs moving to work, live or retire overseas or making cross-border investments, and for entrepreneurial, predominantly owner-managed, businesses, expanding into or re-locating to other, frequently lower, tax jurisdictions.
The Directors have considerable expertise both of the CTSP sector, and of successfully integrating acquisitions, and believe that there is an opportunity to build a significant group in the CTSP sector, due to a combination of regulatory pressures, increasing compliance requirements, the market need for more sophisticated products and services provided with an international scope, and the pending retirement of owner managers of many existing CTSPs.
The Company acquired two Gibraltar based CTSPs in 2007, the Atlas Group of Companies and Parliament Corporate Services Limited, and also acquired a book of Gibraltar business from Jordans in 2008, all of which acquisitions further consolidated STM's leading position in Gibraltar.
The Group expanded into the Channel Islands with the purchase of Compagnie Fiduciaire Trustees Limited in December 2007 and St George Financial Services Limited in June 2008, consolidating its position in that jurisdiction with the acquisition of the Zenith Group of companies in April 2010.
The Group also has offices in Malta (opened in Sliema in 2010), in Spain (acquired via the Fidecs purchase and complimented by the acquisition of an additional book of expatriate service business in 2008) and in Cyprus (opened in 2012).
Further information on the Company's history can be found in the Admission Document to the AIM Market in March 2007.