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Peter Bubenzer hands Appleby mantle to Frances Woo

New group chair to focus on continued international growth 

8 January 2013

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By Manju Manglani, Editor (@ManjuManglani)

Frances Woo has taken on the role of group chair at Appleby Group, replacing Peter Bubenzer.

Woo, the offshore provider’s Hong Kong managing partner since 2000, has also been heading up its corporate and commercial and its private client and trusts practice groups for the Asia region.

Bubenzer, who held the position of group managing partner for nearly a decade before taking up the role of group chair in May 2011, will be retiring from the firm on 31 March 2013.

He is credited with having led Appleby through an expansion strategy that led to it becoming one of the world’s largest providers of offshore legal and fiduciary services.

Woo has noted that her upcoming priorities as group chair include “continuing to drive our international growth strategy forward”.

“I will be immediately focusing on continued stewardship of Appleby’s global strategy, as well as undertaking the international representation of the group. Amongst other things, this means proactively responding to the needs of our clients by being in the markets and sectors that they need us to be in,” she said.

Bubenzer explained to Managing Partner why he is retiring from the firm and has stepped down as group chair after less than two years in the role.

“It started from the realisation that Appleby had achieved the first goal in sight of internationalisation and was established in major offshore areas. We had reached a pausing point to assess the next logical point. A part of that was a possible transition in the leadership and, as I’m 58, I felt it appropriate to do this now.”

When asked what advice he would give to someone taking on the role of group chair for the first time, Bubenzer noted the importance of building relationships.

“Cast your net as wide as possible would be my advice – get information from as many sources as possible," he said.

“It’s very important to find out what is going on in the world of business and in different jurisdictions globally – this will also help with deciding which threats and opportunities are facing the offshore world.”

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