Five-minute interview with Farah Ballands CEO at Estera
Farah Ballands, CEO, Estera, talks to Marcela Kunova about her role at the new operation formed from the former Appleby fiduciary business.
Tell me about your new role as chief executive of Estera?
I oversee our fiduciary and administration business across ten jurisdictions including Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Cayman, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Jersey, the Isle of Man, Mauritius, the Seychelles and Shanghai. That business is broken down along four service lines: corporate, trusts, funds and accounting.
How did you get to where you are today?
I joined Estera, formerly Appleby, as a partner in 2003 and become the global head of the fiduciary and administration service practice group when law firm Bailhache Labesse merged with Appleby in 2006. As our business has grown, my responsibilities have increased and a key aspect of this has been the identification and implementation of new business initiatives for our group. Most recently, I led the management buyout of Appleby Fiduciary Business from the Appleby Group, backed by private equity business Bridgepoint. The buyout completed in December 2015 and led to our rebrand as Estera in April 2016.
Which jurisdictions do you find yourself working in most often?
Each of our jurisdictions presents its own unique selling point, which allows us to cater to the needs of our clients. We work with international clients and we were among the first international businesses to be permitted to provide offshore fiduciary services from our Mauritius and Shanghai offices, so we are well positioned to service our clients based in Asia and Africa.
Do you cross into the area of philanthropy when advising your UHNW clients?
Yes, often we have clients who wish to use part of their wealth to help a good cause. Sometimes they support existing charities, or they might want to establish a new charitable foundation. Either way, we are there to help.
Are you seeing new trends in your client work?
The focus is now very much on success planning involving private trust company structures set up for families and other groups who share a common interest. Foundations are also regularly used by our clients in civil law jurisdictions where the concept of a trust is not so familiar, or by those private clients seeking a wealth management company that will be recognised in their home jurisdiction.
What aspect of your work gives you the greatest sense of satisfaction?
We have some fantastic clients and employees who really are the stars of our business and I much enjoy the collaboration that allows us to achieve our goals.
How do you relax when you have some time off?
The last twelve months have been extremely hectic so there has been little chance for rest. However when I do get the opportunity for some downtime, I love nothing more than spending time with my family and friends, and enjoying some of the great outdoors that the beautiful island of Jersey has to offer.