A Celebration of Longevity and Adaptability

When the first merchant bank opened its doors in St Helier in 1961, an established local accountancy practice would have been acutely aware that the introduction of global banking institutions to the Island would bring significant change to the business landscape.
Andrew Le Cheminant, Director of Alex Picot Trust, explains how adapting to the changes around it – including the earliest days of what we recognise today as the Jersey finance industry – and prioritizing client relationships, has stood the firm in good stead for over 136 years.

By 1961 the third generation of the Picot family had joined the accountancy practice of Alex E Picot & Co which was at that time located in Hill Street; an area synonymous with the Island’s legal and accountancy profession of the day.

Supporting local businesses and families since the late 1800s meant that our predecessors had already built strong local links and were perfectly positioned to play a key part in the evolution of the finance industry.

Fast-forward to the 1980s and the influx of wealthy immigrants to Jersey, alongside new opportunities for existing connections, meant that our private client trust services, which can be traced to 1932, were increasingly in demand.

When the Trust (Jersey) Law was passed in 1984 we welcomed the clear and modern framework for the creation and use of trusts under Jersey law which underpinned our offering.

The partners also had the foresight to distinguish two separate services and established Alex Picot Trust Company Ltd alongside the accountancy practice.  This decision proved crucial in the years that followed as regulation evolved and demand for specialisation in the private client field grew; continuing today under the guidance of our 6 directors and team of qualified trust practitioners.

“Few businesses have survived from the last century. Only those prepared to adapt will flourish into the next.”  In 1995, Rod Amy, senior partner at the time, made this observation in an article published in the JEP.

As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of finance in Jersey, his words remain relevant to our continued ability to adapt in the face of change and as we relocate to join our industry peers in the Esplanade quarter of St Helier we very much look ahead to a bright future.

This editorial was prepared for publication in the Jersey Evening Post 60 Year of Finance supplement, published in December 2021.