Catalyst expands offshore presence with Jersey office

20 November 2018

With demand for financial services consulting growing in Jersey, Catalyst Development has announced the expansion of its offshore presence and international reach. The move builds upon the firm’s acquisition of Jersey-based asset management company Knadel.

After financial services consultancy Catalyst Development has secured a growth investment, in a management buy-out backed by private equity investor Livingbridge, the firm has been expanding consistently ever since. Following the acquisition of professional services firm Knadel, a spree of hirings saw Catalyst’s headcount grow threefold over the next 12 months.

Now, the specialist consulting firm has expanded its offshore base in Jersey in order to respond to rising demands for its services. Jersey – where the standard rate of corporate tax is 0% – is increasingly viewed by business leaders as an attractive post-Brexit destination by businesses looking to both maintain access to the UK and the mainland. It is already a key hub for financial services firms looking to make the most of its tax regime, and as such presents a major market for Catalyst Development.

Catalyst expands offshore presence with Jersey office

The move builds on the previously mentioned acquisition of wealth management firm Knadel, which owned the offshore base from which Catalyst Jersey will now operate. The hub features over twenty desks in its new offices at Hawk House, 22 Esplanade, St Helier. Catalyst’s Jersey team provides a range of business, technology, operational and human performance acceleration services both to the Jersey financial services sector and to an extensive international portfolio of clients in Europe and APAC.

Commenting on the move, Catalyst Development’s Offshore Head Stuart Richford said, “It’s a really exciting time for Catalyst Jersey. This move places us at the centre of Jersey’s financial hub. It enables us to be even more responsive to our rapidly expanding client base and client demand for our services, both on Jersey and overseas. It enables us to be closer to clients and to work more effectively with our Catalyst London and Catalyst Vilnius colleagues to deliver outstanding specialism, at scale.”

Catalyst CEO Andrew Middleton added, “Jersey’s rapid growth trajectory mirrors that of Catalyst as a whole. In just over 12 months, we’ve secured investment, made our first strategic acquisition and tripled in size. We are now delivering a wider range of larger and longer specialist assignments across a greater number of geographies than ever before. It’s a fantastic position from which to enter 2019 – which also happens to mark Catalyst’s 25th anniversary. I’m proud to lead such a multi-talented team and I congratulate all our Jersey colleagues on a great move.”

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Newcastle consulting firm opens Baghdad office

05 April 2019

A Newcastle-based consultancy has announced it will open its first office in Iraq. The news comes despite warnings that the area remains “high risk” for businesses.

16 years after the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the nation remains a shadow of its former self. The continued chaos wrought by the Iraq War – which eventually played a role in the rise to prominence of Daesh, further destabilising the region – means that even now, the nation’s capital is deemed to have the lowest quality of living in the world. According to a recent survey from Mercer, Baghdad ranked last overall – immediately below Bangui of the Central African Republic and Damascus in Syria – despite the other two being determined as the worst cities on the planet for personal safety.

However, as with the wider Middle East, the oil-rich state presents a lucrative destination to businesses willing to take the risk. To that end, a Newcastle recruitment consultancy has announced the opening of its first presence in Iraq’s capital city. Samuel Knight has taken the decision to open its Baghdad locale in order to grow its business in the Middle East.

Newcastle consulting firm opens Baghdad office

While businesses remain wary of the region, Samuel Knight specialises in recruiting talent in the energy and rail sectors, and in a release it said the new office would continue to focus on these areas. It will also allow the firm to make sure it abides by local compliance laws. The new location will be headed up by Haider Kadhim, Samuel Knight’s Iraq country manager, who will work as the first point of contact for clients and candidates. Representatives from the Department of Trade Industry are expected to attend a launch event for the office, which will be held this month.

Commenting on the new office,  a spokesperson for Samuel Knight said, “We probably don’t see it as a risk, but more of an opportunity, as we operate in the Middle East extensively already. We have contacts in place in the country location and with the consultants we have. We felt it was a great opportunity to expand into a country we are already doing work in. It means we have an on-the-ground team to help our clients. From our perspective, it is that we are looking to expand into new territories, but we are also supporting countries that are starting to redevelop after years of warfare.”

Steve Rawlingson, CEO at Samuel Knight, said, “Our aggressive five-year growth plan is manifesting at  an impressive rate, taking the company to exciting new territories. The team is working diligently to surpass expectations set out in the plan, and to ensure Samuel Knight is cemented as the leading global energy and rail recruitment specialist. Our Baghdad office will give us a distinctive edge over our competition and allow for more exciting business opportunities. Once the office becomes more established and client acquisition develops, we will certainly be adding more consultants and manpower in the city.”