Interview with Richard Prosser, group director at Estera

Date: 24 Apr 2019

Bumblebee Design

Citywealth spoke to Richard Prosser of Estera, a group director based in Jersey with overall responsibility for the group’s global trust services offering, to discuss Estera’s leadership approach, balancing technology with people, and his passion for the next generation and philanthropy.

Tell us about the leadership approach of Estera

Our leadership team is actively engaged in the management of our services and clients. We have a hands-on approach and are all directly involved in and responsible for client care. Most of our directors have worked in the industry for over 30 years and are supported by a qualified and knowledgeable senior management team. This enables us to apply our skills, knowledge and best practice and provide innovative solutions to our clients’ dilemmas.

In addition, our team of executive directors ensure that the strategic direction of the business underpins private client care.


Name three factors that distinguish Estera from its competition

  1. Our firm is owner-managed and we do not provide in-house investment products. We are independent and have a collaborative approach to dealing with our clients’ advisors and third-party service providers.
  2. We have an extremely strong client base with good relationships.  In fact, at least 70 per cent of our clients have been with us for more than 10 years.
  3. We are jurisdictionally agnostic. Our unique global footprint provides clients with the most appropriate onshore and offshore jurisdiction for their individual requirements.


What is the role of Jersey within the global network?

We are headquartered in Jersey and it is one of our larger private client jurisdictions. Our team in Jersey has the experience and the ability to manage complex structures and client relationships.  But, we also work collaboratively with all of our locations to deliver the best solutions for our clients. 


With offices across Asia, Europe and North America, explain the strategic significance of Estera’s locations.  Are there any additional locations that might be in the pipeline?

Our choice of locations is driven by our clients. We do not flag-plant for the sake of it, but we will look to build a presence in a new location if we believe that it will benefit our clients. Guernsey and Luxembourg are both relatively new jurisdictions for us and we have already built a significant presence in these key markets. 


How has the private client industry changed and how has your service line adapted?

The private client industry is now much more focused on succession planning. The underlying reasons why clients choose services and locations have become more complex which means the structures they are looking for have also become more complex. 


How has the role of technology within the group changed over the last five years?

We have a client portal so that relevant people can access information about their structures whenever and wherever they need it. Embracing technology is essential to our business and our clients, and is especially relevant to the next generation. 

However, despite the advances of technology we recognize that this is a people business. We give our clients a single point of contact, who is supported by the wider team. This really helps us ensure consistency in client care and builds strong working and personal relationships.  


What are the topics that you feel passionate about? 

Next Generation

As somebody who has been in the private client industry for over 30 years I recognise the importance of the next generation. 

As trustees, our relationship with the Settlor requires us to build a strong understanding of his or her attitude towards the next generation and the passing on of the family wealth. We can assist by meeting with the next generation to explain the concept of trusts, to outline the performance of current investments, or to discuss health, education or maintenance circumstances that may be relevant. We can also help address issues of potential conflict among the next generation, by working to identify divergent views early and before they become an issue and then assisting the family in discussing ways they can mitigate this.


I am delighted to see that philanthropy is often high on the agenda for clients. We see a number of high net worth families setting up foundations specifically focused on philanthropic activities. I am encouraged to see the next generation getting involved and taking a proactive role. This can help put the beneficiaries at the heart of key decision-making while also supporting their financial education and easing their transition as they prepare for a much more significant position of responsibility moving forward.

*Estera were sponsors of the Jersey spotlight newsletter