The roots of the STM Group are based in Gibraltar. Founded here over 20 years ago, the company has grown to become one of the leading global financial services providers and now employs 150 multi-disciplinary professionals in different businesses spread over five jurisdictions, the other four being Spain, Jersey, Malta and Cyprus.
CEO Colin Porter explained how the company was originally floated on the London Stock Exchange AIM market in 2007 to raise funds so that it could go on a ‘buy and build strategy’, acquiring fragmented trust and company businesses from around the world in multiple jurisdictions.
“The trust and company business is fraught with issues,” Colin said “but STM has always had two options; one is new jurisdictions and the other is new products.” Quoting the maxim ‘business is like a tree, if it is not growing then it is standing still and dying’, Colin has overseen the transformation of STM over the last few years, particularly in relation to QROPS (Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme), a product that has led to STM becoming one of the world’s largest QROPs providers based in Malta. “We have put a large investment of money into growing our QROPS product, with 30 dedicated staff in Malta and an ever increasing number here in Gibraltar,” he stated.
STM’s repertoire has increased with the addition of life assurance products. “This side of the business has been grown out of Gibraltar and, with the help of the Gibraltar Regulator, is expanding successfully.” Keen to express his hopes for the future of the finance industry within Gibraltar, Colin credits FSC CEO Samantha Barrass and Gibraltar Finance Executive Mike Ashton with influencing change by finding out what the industry actually needs and driving it forward. “The key to effecting change is for all of us to work in synergy together,” he said.
As well as expanding the business overseas STM is acquiring more employees, with a recruitment drive underway at the moment for a number of people, most of whom will be predominantly based in Gibraltar. “The business is going through a growth phase,” Colin said before expounding about the fact that the backbone of STM is the staff. “We have got people who have worked for us for 20 years and they are the heart and soul of the business. If we didn’t have outstanding staff, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.”
Born in New Zealand, “I’m a Kiwi, through and through”, Colin’s two main passions in life besides work are his Harley Davidson and his work with underprivileged children. The STM Fun Run, now in its third year and due to take place on Sunday, 19th April, is his brainchild. Initially originating out of a challenge to create a team building exercise for staff and management of STM, the event is open to anyone and raises funds for Gibraltar based children’s charity the Guardian Angel Foundation which provides support to youngsters affected by poverty or physical and mental disabilities. “It’s called a Fun Run because you don’t have to run hard; the 10k run around the entire Rock is for competitive people, and the 5k run is for dogs, pushchairs or husbands,” Colin laughs. “STM puts a lot back into the community but thanks must also go to the support of local businesses and individuals who generously donate to the cause.”