A&M expands British Virgin Islands presence

24 October 2022 Consultancy.uk 3 min. read
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Alvarez & Marsal has responded to challenges in the offshore market by launching a presence in the British Virgin Islands. The global professional services firm has appointed Wesley Edwards as a Senior Director in its new office, bringing more than three decades of experience to the firm.

Professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) provides advisory, business performance improvement and turnaround management services to corporates, boards, creditors, private equity firms, law firms and government agencies around the world. It works with clients facing complex challenges relating to corporate turnaround and restructuring measures, via its 6,000 people across four continents.

A&M’s latest development sees it found a  new office in the British Virgins Islands (BVI). Building on the strong growth of A&M’s restructuring practice globally, following the opening of a new office in Edinburgh and the expansion of an existing one in Glasgow last month, it also taps into key trends in offshore markets.

Wesley Edwards, Senior Director, Alvarez & Marsal

The BVI is a British overseas territory in the Caribbean, which hosts a zero-percent taxation policy; with no capital gains tax, gift tax, inheritance tax, sales tax or value-added tax across the islands. As such, this has long allowed businesses to set up offshore companies there as a means of paying less tax. This attraction of large companies and financial operators in turn provides opportunities for professional services firms, offering their advisory and restructuring knowhow to lucrative offshore entities.

Last year, this saw Teneo swoop for the restructuring arm of KPMG in the Cayman and British Virgin Islands, it prioritised the Caribbean for winning future insolvency work among holding companies for businesses operating in major economies such as China and Hong Kong. Meanwhile, restructuring firm Quantuma also arrived in the BVI earlier in 2022.

Richard Fleming, Managing Director, and Head of Restructuring of A&M in Europe said, “Our expansion to the British Virgin Islands is the natural next step for our growth as a firm, amid rapid expansion throughout Europe. By having boots on the ground, A&M will be able to support our clients’ diverse range of needs as they face a looming recession and worsening global corporate distress in the coming months.”

Looking ahead, A&M’s new wing will work closely with practitioners in London, the Cayman Islands and Hong Kong on restructuring and insolvency cases with entities registered in the BVI. The team will be led by Wesley Edwards, who brings more than 30 years of experience to the firm as a Senior Director. Joining from restructuring rival Begbies Traynor, he previously headed that firm’s own BVI presence for the last six years. Prior to this, he was a Director for KRyS Global in Bermuda and the BVI for four years – meaning he is also well experienced in the local market.

Edwards commented, “Having followed A&M’s journey over the years, now is an exciting time to be joining the firm, following a period of exceptional growth. As a market-leader, A&M provides clients with high-quality, independent advice on the most complex cases. Having recently received my new Insolvency Practitioner License in the BVI, I’m ready to hit the ground running with client work.”