(CMR) A Cayman Islands registered company, Waystone, has become the first “Unicorn” company in this jurisdiction; boasting a valuation of over $1.3 billion dollars after a significant investment by Montagu Private Equity. Waystone, formerly DMS Governance, is a leading provider of institutional governance, risk and compliance services to the asset management industry.
The journey for DMS Governance to expand its global reach to this significant level began in 2019 when the organization began a partnership with MML Capital Partners (MML). DMS rebranded and launched Waystone in March 2021 after a merger between MontLake, MDO and DMS to create the first truly institutional global governance and third-party management company across eight jurisdictions.
Exclusive sources indicate that Montagu Private Equity, a leading European private equity firm, inked an investment agreement earlier this week completing the deal that has now placed the Cayman Islands on the global stage becoming one of only 600 unicorn companies worldwide. It represents an opportunity for Waystone to build upon its current expansion plans by offering its clients an extensive set of global solutions and unrivaled customer service.
Providing no media comment regarding the acquisition CMR understands from other sources familiar with the transaction that Don Seymour will be stepping down from his role as founder and executive chairman to focus on the quieter world of community development and other business interests. He will remain a major shareholder in Waystone.
Seymour founded DMS Governance in 2000 and grew the fund governance business to this enviable position. On his LinkedIn bio he shares that DMS represented leading investment funds with assets under management exceeding $900 billion across a range of structures, diverse investments strategies and jurisdictions.
His professional career has been nothing more than extraordinary after starting out with PwC in 1991 as a manager leading multi-disciplinary teams servicing key investment management clients. He then moved onto the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority as Head of Investment Services before venturing out to the financial world with the launching of DMS Governance.
A University of Texas at Austin accounting graduate Seymour has been featured as one of the 50 leading Wall Street financiers and academics in Kim Ann Curtins' 2015 book Transforming Wall Street: A Conscious Path for a New Future. Forecasting his future success in this industry during an interview for that text he commented on Cayman's success story in the hedge fund market:
“Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ‘if you develop a better mouse trap, the world will beat a path to your door.” In that spirit, I believe that we understood what the market wanted and exceeded that need.”
His community spirit was also gleaned from that interview where he shared his passion and reason for giving back:
” There were people who were nice to me when I was a kid and gave me time they didn’t necessarily have to, and so now I try to do that for people at this point in time. If I can help somebody along the way, I will. I’m grateful for what I’ve been given, all the opportunities, and I’ve had more success than I certainly ever dreamed of as a kid. I’m grateful for what I have but I don’t forget that where I came from were humble beginnings.”
There are more than 600 unicorn companies around the world, as of June 2020.