New Group Chief Executive for Hawksford

Michel van Leeuwen, an experienced financial services and fin-tech business leader who brings industry expertise from leadership roles at Cordium and Microsoft Capital Markets, has joined Hawksford as group chief executive to lead the delivery of its ambitious growth plans.

The appointment underpins Hawksford’s focus on an accelerated growth strategy, which will see the business expand its core corporate, private client and funds service lines while simultaneously introducing additional ancillary services that benefit clients. The growth strategy involves both organic growth and growth by acquisition. The company, backed by UK private equity firm Dunedin, plans to double its overall size and increase its geographical footprint over the next three to five years.

Mr van Leeuwen will apply his experience in financial services technology and business optimisation to help raise the client services processes at Hawksford to an even higher level. This will ensure that both current and future clients, as well as the expanding team of professionals at Hawksford, will benefit whilst simultaneously delivering growth.

Mr van Leeuwen said “Hawksford has a strong leadership team which I look forward to working alongside to deliver the company’s strategic plan. The company has many excellent qualities, including the ability to be flexible and nimble in a busy marketplace delivering rigorous technical expertise. I look forward to harnessing these attributes and building on the established momentum for the next stage of Hawksford’s growth.

“The opportunity to integrate additional service lines and technology into Hawksford will result in best of breed service delivery across all business lines. The objective is to create a ‘one stop shop’ service provider for both new and existing clients around the world reducing cost and inefficiency.”

Mr van Leeuwen’s thirty years of experience includes leadership roles at high profile businesses. Prior to joining Hawksford he was group CEO of Cordium, a market-leading provider of regulatory compliance consulting services to the asset management and securities industry. Cordium delivered strong organic growth and integrated various strategic acquisitions. Cordium was backed by private equity firm Sovereign Capital, which won an industry award for its successful exit from Cordium in 2015.

Prior to Cordium, Mr van Leeuwen served as managing director of Microsoft Worldwide Capital Markets and was responsible for delivering nearly $1 billion in revenues across the global capital markets industry. He also served as CEO of the Risk Management division at Misys plc and was a member of its operating board. Earlier positions include senior roles at State Street Bank and Algorithmics.

Philip Taylor, chairman of Hawksford, said, “We are thrilled that a business leader of Michel’s calibre has been appointed to lead Hawksford. The business is poised for significant growth and his specialist market knowledge and M&A experience will be vital in helping Hawksford to achieve its international ambitions. Acting CEO Michael Powell and CFO Steve Spybey have ensured that Michel will take the reins of a well-structured business that is poised for growth.”

Jacqueline Low, COO of Hawksford in Asia, further added, “We are thrilled to have Michel van Leeuwen join Hawksford as Group Chief Executive. Clients of our Singapore business come from a vast array of industries and geographies. In particular, we have a large client base from the technology and digital industries. Michel’s expertise in financial technology services and his international outlook is second-to-none. It will undoubtedly bring many interesting developments to the services we can offer to clients.”

Mr Powell, a founding member of the team that performed the management buyout of Rathbones in 2008, continues to focus on delivering his expertise to Hawksford’s clients while remaining a highly valued director and member of the board. Mr van Leeuwen intends to relocate to Jersey for his new role.

Hawksford has 220 employees and offices in Jersey, the Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.


Lead Contact

Cherith Fothergill

Notes to editors

About Hawksford Group:
Twitter: @HawksfordGroup

Hawksford is an international and award-winning corporate, private client and funds business which consistently delivers impeccable service and is focused on thinking beyond tomorrow. Hawksford offers a comprehensive range of services and solutions to and for trusts, companies, foundations, partnerships, family offices and investment funds. We also provide listing services, wills and probate, succession planning and employee solutions.

Hawksford has operating capabilities in Jersey, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates and is actively seeking expansion into countries that will add further value to clients.

Hawksford can trace its roots back to the late 19th century in Jersey when lawyer Cyril Hawksford first began practising. In the 1970s the company developed into a dynamic offshore trust business developed. Following the management buyout of Rathbone Trust Company Jersey Limited in October 2008 the current Hawksford name was established.