In 2000, when Bank of The Bahamas Trust Limited became the first financial services provider to offer trust services for Bahamians, executives noted dual driving forces for a B-dollar trust company — a pent-up market and trained professionals to handle the responsibility.
Both of those conditions remain relevant, according to Leno founder and President Sean K. Longley.
“Although a relatively recent entry in financial services, B-dollar trust demand has evolved into a strong, stable and expanding market,” said Longley. “That pent-up demand was one reason for its success. The other is that by the time the first B-dollar trust company was formed, The Bahamas had a highly trained cadre of professionals who had years of experience managing trusts in other currencies.”
Leno’s acquisition of BOB’s trust aligns with the firm’s vision. The 100 per cent Bahamian-owned entity started as one of a handful of fund managers and brokers recognizing the market potential of dealing in Bahamian dollars, exclusively servicing Bahamian clients with the kind of attention high net worth individuals expect elsewhere.
The trust acquisition, completed last month, and the earlier acquisition of Family Guardian’s $80 million capital markets portfolio mix that included pensions, investments, mutual funds and Treasury notes, helps pave the way for Leno to offer a full suite of international and domestic investment funds business to locals and add international clients. Family Guardian told its shareholders it was selling off its underperforming capital markets portfolio so it could return to focusing on its core businesses of health, life and property insurance. By contrast, Leno, with Longley at the helm and his 25-year accounting, investment and business background, said the FG Capital Markets book of business “meshed with our own core business of administering and managing investments with a goal of growth with security.”
Bullish in its growth objectives and on the cusp of its upcoming 10th anniversary in July 2020, Longley and partners say they are working toward becoming “the premier wealth planning, structuring and services provider in the Bahamas through vision, fortitude and consistency of delivery, with assets of $1 billion under management by our 10th anniversary.”
From starting with a zero balance, the company has steadily grown and diversified its service offerings to include a real estate company, brokerage, corporate and now trust services. Plans are underway to significantly expand the company’s real estate holdings and expand its presence in the Latin American and Asian markets. Leno takes its name from “to bridge” and sees itself as bridging the gap between the world of finance and clients who deserve to benefit from the connection and personal service.