Navigating New Opportunities: A Q&A With Oana Crisan, Director of Summit Group’s Jersey business, Garfield-Bennett
Oana Crisan joined Garfield-Bennett in 2016, the same year she achieved the highest mark in Jersey when qualifying as a Trust and Estate Practitioner. Her considerable experience within the offshore financial services industry, dealing particularly with complex structures for high net worth international and UK private clients, saw Oana promoted to Director in 2018. She was also a member and student liaison officer for the STEP Jersey Committee until 2020.
With Garfield-Bennett joining the Summit Group in December 2023, Oana is now part of our senior leadership team.
In this candid Q&A, Oana delves into the complexities of her role in our fiduciary and administrative services business and the opportunities she sees being part of the Summit Group.
Oana’s career to date and the challenges faced along the way
Q: Can you share with us your journey to becoming a Director at Garfield-Bennett?
“I joined Garfield-Bennett in 2016 as an Assistant Manager and progressed to a Trust Manager role shortly after. I was offered the opportunity to join the board two years later.
Whilst maintaining my client relationships, I now also have responsibility for our people, as well as the secretarial and IT functions for the Jersey company. I think the biggest challenge has been learning how to deal with a perpetual ‘catch-22’ between client needs and operational demands, as well as the need to switch hats at a moment’s notice to be able to balance responsibilities in different business areas and prioritise issues, often competing for importance and time.”
Navigating diverse responsibilities with agility
Q: What is your approach to the successful execution of your role?
“Having a role with a diverse set of responsibilities requires a comprehensive, ever-evolving set of skills that must be applied to a variety of situations. I have had to learn to adapt quickly and draw from my experience as well as the experiences of others.”
A senior female leader in a male-dominated industry
Q: What insights can you offer about being a senior female leader in a traditionally male-dominated industry?
“The current focus and strive for workplace diversity and equality presents a world of well-deserved opportunities, more than ever before, in my opinion. Working in a business that showcases similar beliefs and values, as well as personal drive and passion for what one does is, to me, the best way to achieve one’s aspirations.”
Notable achievements and looking to the future
Q: What are you most proud of having achieved on your professional journey so far?
“Having had the opportunity to showcase what my success looks like and instil the assurance in others that it’s possible to achieve it. I would like to continue to give my team the opportunity to succeed in their roles and support their progress. I hope to continue mentoring but also contribute to scaling the model of the business. I anticipate that my responsibilities will evolve with more collaboration with Group colleagues in different jurisdictions towards the success of each business and the overall group. It’s all about shared success.”
Opportunities with Summit Group
Q: Now that Garfield-Bennett has joined Summit Group, what opportunities do you foresee, both for yourself and the organisation?
“Joining Summit Group will ensure that Garfield-Bennett continues to offer the highest quality client services, with the added benefit of being able to leverage Summit Group group’s presence in other jurisdictions for bespoke solutions.
Garfield-Bennett’s focus was always on nurturing, protecting and enhancing client wealth in a personal way, every day. I enjoyed that. Being part of the Summit Group will allow us to continue to provide a personalised and tailored service to our clients, with steadfast professionalism, the highest standards of a growing international business and strong financial backing to invest in the business.
From a personal perspective, there are many projects in my immediate future that I am very excited about. My focus is now on facilitating the smooth integration of Garfield-Bennett into the Summit Group, aligning our technology infrastructure and HR standards, and sharing best practice. Whilst of course continuing to look after my clients!”
A shared vision and aligned goals
Q: How do you think Garfield-Bennett’s integration into Summit Group will contribute to our overall strategy and objectives?
“I think the most important factor is that both Garfield-Bennett and Summit Group share the same values in what I believe to be in the best Jersey tradition, adopting a practical and common sense approach. We are both proud of our dedicated staff with experience across many disciplines.
We have very similar mind-sets, perspectives, and goals, which is a fantastic basis for starting this journey. We will build on this common foundation together to achieve financial objectives and future growth.”
Putting clients first
Oana will continue to look after her clients whilst juggling additional leadership responsibilities arising from integrating Garfield-Bennett into the Summit Group. Ensuring continuity is important to help our clients navigate the complexities of growing, protecting, and passing on their wealth. The evolving field of fiduciary services demands expertise, foresight and a dedication to excellence—qualities epitomised by leaders like Oana.
At Summit Group, our commitment to providing top-tier, forward-thinking solutions is at the core of what we do. Whether for your financial journey or your clients’, discover how our bespoke solutions can pave the way for your success.