60 second interview with Frederick Bj√∏rn, Payne Hicks Beach

Date: 28 May 2019


In our 60 second interview series, Citywealth speaks to Frederick Bj√∏rn, a partner in the private client department of Payne Hicks Beach about working with clients to mitigate the risk and dangers wealth brings and handling the differing interests of three generations.

Tell me about your role.

I am a partner in the Private Client department of Payne Hicks Beach and act for clients on both domestic family governance/trust matters and international tax planning issues. As part of this I spearhead the firm’s Scandinavian initiative – advising those from the Nordic regions from a UK angle.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Every day starts with coffee. It then very much depends on the time of year as to the extent to which I am attending meetings and advising on or implementing planning or out and about building up my client base.The PC world is very cyclical – you generally know well in advance when you need to batten down the hatches!

Tell us about interesting client instructions.

I had a very wealthy client who simply wanted me to find her anywhere in the world to live – to achieve her prescriptive criteria.Having done extensive work with multiple jurisdictions she ultimately chose… England.

What challenges do your clients face and how are you helping your clients to overcome them?

Political instability and the rate of legislative change is the obvious hurdle that clients are facing.However, increasingly a major issue is the levels of wealth that clients are seeing and the responsibility that this brings. Many clients were not brought up with the wealth that they now have and they are very wary of the dangers to both themselves and future generations. Our role is to work with clients to mitigate the risks and to help bring the next generation into the fold.Sometimes it is a case of handling the differing interests and outlooks of three generations.

What is your proudest professional achievement?

Apart from the obvious moments of key career progression, I was once directly headhunted by a firm who had turned me down many years earlier. That is immensely satisfying.

What do you consider to be the most important attributes for a leader?

A lack of arrogance and ego. Those who desperately want to be leaders can accordingly be least appropriate for it.

Who do you most admire and why?

I admire the metal strength of those who push the boundaries beyond what was thought possible. This is difficult to quantify in many fields and those responsible are often not given due credit. In sport it is much easier – for instance can Eliud Kipchoge break the 2-hour marathon mark?

Where was the last place you travelled to for work or pleasure?

I spent Easter skiing in Norway and I will shortly be off to Hong Kong for business.

If you weren’t in the wealth management industry, what else might you be doing?

I wanted to be a singer and/or a writer until I was lured into the legal profession to support my ski and windsurf habit.

How do you relax after a long day?

Ideally a mix of sport and family time. Increasingly they can be combined. I am also a big drum and bass fan.

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