Leaders List interview: 60 seconds with Alex Gardner, Affinity Group

Date: 23 Nov 2022

Silvia Ricciardi

Alex Gardner, Affinity Group

Citywealth speaks to Alex Gardner, COO at Affinity Group, who is responsible for operational oversight of Affinity Group, which includes the Isle of Man, Malta and Cayman Islands, with a focus on overseeing the development of Affinity across all its jurisdictions and business sectors.

Tell Citywealth’s readers about your role.

As Group COO, I am primarily responsible for operational oversight of Affinity Group, which includes the Isle of Man, Malta and Cayman Islands, with particular focus on overseeing the progression and development of Affinity across all its jurisdictions and business sectors.

My primary objective is to ensure operational practices are consistent and to the highest standard.

In addition to this, I have input and oversight into strategic matters and management of the Group’s growth.

As a leading Corporate Service Provider, we are highly experienced in administering a wide range of trust and corporate ownership structures and possess a wealth of expertise in areas such as Yachting, Shipping, Aviation, E-Gaming, FinTech and general Trust and Company Administration.

What is the biggest challenge you and your firm are currently facing?

Currently, it would be the difficult job market and the effect that is having on the recruitment process. The main challenge is trying to resource adequately to cater for the significant growth we have had, although, our consistent growth is undoubtedly a positive thing.

How would your clients describe you?

I believe, and by taking a look at some of the reviews on the Citywealth Leaders List, I am extremely responsive to our clients’ needs and always communicate professionally with a personable approach.

I am passionate about my work, and assist clients with a diverse wealth of knowledge across a variety of structures.

What are the most important skills and personal qualities to succeed in your role?

I think that my primary strength is organisational skills and diligence in bringing matters to a successful conclusion.

My experience in the industry has led me to develop excellent skills in client services and leadership skills around how to effectively manage our team.

A part of this is the experience I have gained over a time, which enables me to know what the right decisions are for the company and the team moving forwards. We consistently emphasise open, honest dialogue with our team and welcome feedback to know how we can improve. These skills are important to get the best out of the team, and in reference to my personal qualities, I am approachable and friendly to build trust and drive honest communication.

Best and worst parts of your job.

The best part is the working environment we have created since 2019 when a new management team was put in place, and since then the company culture we have developed. I would like to think that Affinity is now regarded as a fantastic place to work, and this is due to our focus on investing in our team. Another positive aspect is also seeing the staff progression across our departments over the years, and the level of service we provide to our clients, which has created our portfolio of happy clients.

I love what I do so there is little downside from my perspective. However, my role is varied and this often requires me to operate outside of my comfort zone and take on duties which do not come naturally to me. Whilst this is a challenge, I believe that this has enabled me to grow both as a person and a business leader.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given?

I have been fortunate enough to work with many inspiring role models over my career, and one thing I remember is being encouraged to believe that there are no limits to what you can achieve if you put your mind to it. I think this advice for me was valuable as it pushed me in my career, and everyone should adopt the same approach to reach their potential.

Click here to view Alex Gardner’s Leaders List profile.

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