06/04/2016

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LOMBARD ODIER BERMUDA

From its beginnings as a two-person operation in 1976, Lombard Odier (Bermuda) has evolved into one of the leading trust companies in the jurisdiction. 

From a small office in the Bermuda Fire & Marine building, Alfred Ulmer and Brenda Bridgewater, started Lombard Odier’s Bermuda operations in 1976. In a time of telex and typewriters, Bermuda felt like a long way away from the company’s Swiss headquarters for Alfred – President & CEO of the Bermuda office – and Brenda his executive assistant. As the business built up steam, the duo moved to new premises, where they were to stay for 15 years, with Brenda as vice president.

During these years as Bermuda established itself as a jurisdiction of interest for trusts, Lombard Odier decided that the Bermuda office should apply for its trust license. Alfred, together with Michael Mello, one of Bermuda’s leading lawyers proceeded with the application. It proved a pioneering move for the whole jurisdiction, and in 1992 the first international trust license granted in Bermuda was issued to Lombard Odier Trust (Bermuda). 1993 saw the arrival of Joseph Knechtle, who worked alongside Alfred and would later go on to succeed him as CEO. Five additional people were hired, including one team member, Ideitha James, who is still with the office today.

Bernard Rattray took over leadership in 1996 and the company continued to grow as he sought out new talent and increased the staff to 18 people. During his tenure, he engaged trust lawyer, Tracy Tepper as General Counsel to focus on developing the trust business and lead the Trust department. Tracy became President & CEO in 2003 and steadily built on the foundation laid by those before her, and provided international trust expertise, vision and the guidance needed to charter the course for the next 10 years. Under her leadership, Lombard Odier Trust (Bermuda) experienced phenomenal growth and international recognition, and soon became one of the leading trust companies in Bermuda. With a staff of 25, the office outgrew its space and the team was once again on the move, this time to our present home in Victoria Street, Hamilton.

Lombard Odier in the Community
Lombard Odier Trust (Bermuda) has always been community minded. In celebration of Lombard Odier s 200th anniversary, the Bermuda company hosted an art and essay competition for students in public middle schools throughout Bermuda. From  five schools and 23 classes, 500 children entered the competition for the opportunity for themselves, their class and their teachers to win a nine-day, all-expense-paid educational trip to Switzerland. The contest was won by Whitney Middle School, and 25 very-excited students, accompanied by five adults, set out for the experience of a lifetime.

Lombard Odier Trust (Bermuda) continues to be involved in the community via various initiatives and through its financial contribution to charitable organisations and schools. In an effort to move beyond its four walls, every February, Lombard Bermuda hosts a “Share the Love” event, which is geared toward the less fortunate in Bermuda. 

And Today….
Today, 40 years after Alfred Ulmer and Brenda Bridgewater set up the office, our Bermuda operation employs a diverse staff of 26 people ranging from trust lawyers and accountants to administrators. The company remains at the forefront of Bermuda’s trust industry and has been under the leadership of Charmaine Tucker, President & CEO, since 2013. Charmaine brings a wealth of experience to the role, having started her career as a trust officer and trust lawyer in 2001.

In speaking of this anniversary, Charmaine says, “We could not have arrived at this point without the confidence of our clients and the professionalism, hard work and loyalty of our staff. Lombard Odier is synonymous with longevity: our staff in Bermuda have an average tenure of 10+ years and many of our clients have been with our Group for over four generations. “On this our 40th anniversary, we not only celebrate with the management and staff of today, but we also take this opportunity to thank all those who have been part of the Lombard Odier Bermuda family over the years.”

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