15 May 2023
Founder and Chief Adviser Stephen Caton sat down with Duncan Hall of The Royal Gazette to discuss the launch of ASK Bermuda and our focus on making your business the best it can be.
A financial services professional with three decades of experience has launched an advisory services firm to offer the benefit of his knowledge and judgment to businesses on the island.
Stephen Caton, formerly chief operating officer at KPMG in Bermuda, has founded ASK Bermuda Limited, which launched on May 1.
The initials in the business’s name stand for agility, support and knowledge, said Mr Caton, a chartered professional accountant, who is the company’s chief adviser.
The company offers expert business analysis, advisory services and dedicated operational support to address a wide range of issues, including quick solutions to a critical business issue, project management, operational transformation, leadership support and enhanced governance initiatives.
Mr Caton spent nearly 12 years at KPMG, and before that nine years at Citi Hedge Fund Services Limited and its forerunner Hemisphere Management Limited.
He said: “My internal roles at KPMG and Hemisphere through Citi were internally focused on making a business the best it could be – and that’s very much what I am offering in this advisory practice.”
Whether an assignment is short or long-term, Mr Caton said, what they have in common is change management.
He added: “A couple of things hold true in any organisation. There are always things to do and they range from ‘critical’ to ‘nice to have’ – but there never appears to be sufficient resources.
“We are offering not only resources but the knowledge of how to optimise your current resources and overlaying change management to assist.”
Mr Caton said the market for ASK Bermuda was “every industry”.
"It’s every business type and in terms of the size of client, we’ll start off with small to medium but we wouldn’t say ‘no’ to a larger client,“ he added.
“The only important distinction is where the client is on their life cycle. For us, it’s two years in and more. We don’t wish to be there at the start.”
Mr Caton said knowledge based on deep expertise and broad experience, and the firm’s focus on advisory services – rather than it being one of many offerings – were among the business’s key attributes, as was value.
He said: “From a value perspective, as a small firm, we are able to scale to a client’s budgets and offer competitive rates at half the rate of bigger firms for the same value.”
Mr Caton added: “What we are selling is knowledge and judgment that takes years to be refined.”
He said the staff at ASK Bermuda would be entirely Bermudian.
The business has hired a part-time office administrator and a senior consultant is to join the organisation at the end of the month.
During the first quarter of 2024, Mr Caton added, a fellow principal would join ASK Bermuda.