Fund administration provider Intertrust has purchased the London-based Wells Fargo Trust Corporation to boost its global aviation finance capabilities.
The acquisition occurred on 13 December 2019, and will be integrated into Intertrust’s Capital Markets service line, led by Cliff Pearce.
The Dutch-headquartered administrator said the acquisition will broaden its aviation finance client base, as the company expands its capabilities in preparation for the new Global Aircraft Trading System (GATS).
“We are delighted to announce the acquisition of Wells Fargo Trust Corporation Limited and its portfolio of aviation engagements,” said Pearce. “This transaction significantly strengthens our presence as one of the few global service providers in the aviation finance sector and underlines our wider strategy of pursuing selective and value-enhancing acquisitions to increase scale, complement our existing service offering, and enhance our global footprint and technological capabilities.”
“We have witnessed significant growth in the aviation sector over the last decade and conditions remain positive going forward; Asia-Pacific and China remain very buoyant markets due to higher levels of economic growth and a rising middle class with a greater appetite for travel. Macroeconomic conditions are increasingly pushing investors towards less volatile asset classes and aircraft leasing provides fixed incomes over long periods, offering investors predictable and consistent earnings.”
Speaking to Global Custodian last summer, Intertrust’s CEO, Stephanie Miller, highlighted the firms focus on more niche asset classes.
Intertrust already had a strong presence in the aviation finance sector through teams based in Ireland, Hong Kong, Singapore and the Cayman Islands servicing purposes vehicles and operating/finance lease platforms which are engaged in all aspects of aviation finance and leasing across commercial aircraft, corporate jets, helicopters and engines.
The firm enjoyed a buoyant year in 2019 under Miller’s guidance. The firm announced this summer it would acquire Viteos, a tech-enabled provider of middle and back-office services, in a deal worth $330 million, bolstering its technology capabilities and reputation through the well-received agreement. In February, Intertrust also reached an agreement to purchase ABN AMRO’s escrow and settlement business.
These moves followed a swathe of regional expansions from Intertrust which saw new offices open in Ireland, Paris and China, along with an extension of its services in the US. The Viteos acquisition will also enable Intertrust to leverage the technology provider’s offshore centres of excellence in India.
Subsequently, at the Global Custodian Industry Leaders awards in New York last November, Intertrust scooped the One to Watch: Fund Administration award, while Miller also won the Industry Person of the Year honour.