Q: What were you doing before you joined Aquitaine?
A: I was working as a Senior Trust Officer at a large, multi-jurisdictional fiduciary with an office in Guernsey. My primary caseload was corporate clients for whom we administered employee benefit trusts and share schemes. The work was deadline driven and my relationships were primarily at the corporate level rather than with the underlying beneficiaries.
Q: Why did you decide to move on?
A: Having worked in employee benefit services for almost 10 years, I really wanted to broaden my outlook and experience by moving into private clients. This was particularly attractive as I could become involved with growing long-term personal relationships with both intermediaries and the clients themselves.
Q: What attracted you to Aquitaine?
A: I liked the fact that it was medium-sized, independent and with local ownership. When I was interviewed it was clear that there was a lot of experience in the company and I would fit in with like-minded people. In addition, the ethos of the business encourages everyone to have an input and most importantly, they value, consider and act on that input regardless of seniority. Aquitaine has been able to blend the positive aspects of a larger corporate business, such as its governance structure whilst remaining flexible and keep its family feel.
Q: What is your current role at Aquitaine?
A: I am a Trust Director leading one of the client teams. I deal with a number of high net worth client structures which have exposed me to family office, protectorship services, private trust companies and your more typical trust and corporate administration services. Each of the structures holds a broad range of assets across many jurisdictions. My portfolio of clients has been built up mainly from new business and so I have been involved with many of them from the very start.
Q: What professional qualifications do you have?
A: I was keen to obtain my professional qualifications early on in my career so had already completed my STEP diploma prior to joining Aquitaine. Since I joined and as my role has evolved I decided to complete the Chartered Secretaries Qualifying Scheme with ICSA. I obtained that qualification in February 2020 and feel it has given me an even greater awareness of the importance of governance which I can apply to my portfolio of clients as well as in my role as director.
Q: What support did you receive from Aquitaine for your studies?
A: Aquitaine encourages all members of staff to obtain a relevant professional qualification up to diploma level. In individual cases, they will continue to provide financial and study leave support for higher qualifications. I am pleased that they were more than happy to support me in my further studies. Aquitaine also has a forum to support its trainees, both in their daily work and also mentoring them through their studies. I previously had responsibility for leading the forum which was a two way development as it aided me in building my communication and interpersonal skills whilst also giving me the ability to share my knowledge and act as a conduit for other non-study related matters.
Q: Has Aquitaine met your expectations?
A: Yes, and in many ways it has exceeded my expectations. I have been exposed to so many new things and whilst it has been a steep learning curve, I have really enjoyed the challenge and have not looked back!
Q: What do you think about Aquitaine joining forces with Summit Trust?
A: I think the joining of the two businesses is massively exciting. Individually both companies have achieved a lot of success and are renowned with clients, advisers and peers so now having the ability to build on those achievements together under one group can only be positive.
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