Guernsey future leaders

Date: 27 Apr 2014


Tomorrow’s heads of the private wealth industry on the island face a whole host of challenges not known by their predecessors. By Claire Coe Smith

1. Matt Atkinson Head of Stockbroking Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management

2. Harry Bazzaz Director Oculus Ltd

3. Paul Blackwell Associate Director Confiance

4. Angela Calnan Senior Associate Collas Crill

5. Lucy Cochrane Manager Legis Trust & Corporate Services

6. Chris Colclough Head of Portfolio Management Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management

7. Alexa Collis Associate Appleby

8. Stuart Dowding Associate Director Mercator

9. Matthew Gilligan Trust Officer Louvre Trust

10. Nina Gurney Associate Babbé

11. Matthew Guthrie Senior Associate Mourant Ozannes

12. Lisa Haggarty Vice President Deutsche Bank International Limited

13. Natasha Kapp Senior Associate Carey Olsen

14. Jodi Langlois Senior Trust Manager Nerine Trust

15. James Le Page Manager Legis Trust & Corporate Services

16. Kerrie Le Tissier Senior Associate Bedell Cristin

17. Nathan Long Relationship Manager HSBC Private Bank

18. Catherine Moore Associate Ogier

19. Jessica Morris Director Carey Group

20. Jonny Mynes Senior Portfolio Manager Brooks Macdonald International

21. Paul O’NeillTax Director Legis Tax Services Limited

22. Chris Parrott Manager Ardel Trust

23. Adele Perrot Manager Legis Trust & Corporate Services

24. Steve Queripel Associate Director Sphere Management

25. Joanne SealSenior Associate Collas Crill

26. Sian StaplesManager, Trust & Corporate Moore Stephens

27. Alison Vine Tax Director Deloitte

28. Zoe Ward Associate Deutsche Bank International Trust Co. Limited

29. Bruce Watterson Director Dixcart

30. Todd Wheeler Trust Manager Butterfield Trust

This is the second Citywealth feature in a series on the future leaders of the private wealth industry. In this piece, we have set out to identify the stars of the future from across Guernsey’s investment management, law, trusts and private banking sectors.

In a mature offshore market like Guernsey, identifying and investing in the leaders of tomorrow is critical to the island’s longevity as a significant financial centre. The individuals named on these pages already stand out as having many of the skills necessary to meet the demands of the clients of the future, but the industry continues to evolve.

Some of those skills required do not change: “There’s quite a lot of things that will change in the next few decades,‚Äù says Andy Finch, head of wealth management for Guernsey at Canaccord

Genuity Wealth Management. “But actually in the private wealth world, many things remain the same, and particularly the demands of clients for advisers with integrity, a heavy focus on service, and a commitment to always trying to do the right things for clients.‚Äù

Personal relationships will always be at the heart of the most successful operators in private wealth. Nevertheless, clients themselves will be different in ten years’ time, and their expectations will inevitably escalate. For Guernsey to compete, it needs to stay ahead, says Fiona Le Poidevin, chief executive at Guernsey Finance: “Succession planning is very important for the island, and thinking about who the leaders of tomorrow will be. There are a lot of mature businesses here, but who is going to come and take those businesses over to take them forward? We too often focus on the leaders of today at the expense of those of the future.‚Äù

She says there is a need to upskill the talent on the island, and continue to attract bright graduates to settle there. “That upskilling is already very much underway,‚Äù Le Poidevin says. “There is a shift towards focusing on language skills and cultural awareness, and there are staff being sent on secondments overseas. We also need to continue to attract people from outside to come and live here, and increasingly those people come from further afield.‚Äù

Shape of things to come

Regulation will have a huge role to play in shaping the private wealth industry globally in the coming years, as global tax transparency continues to be enhanced. Guernsey will position itself as an established and secure place to do business that is well regulated, but as a jurisdiction it will face competition from other jurisdictions.

Stuart Platt-Ransom, managing director at Legis Group, says: “My concern is that money may flow towards less well-regulated jurisdictions, which ultimately defeats the purpose of the raft of regulatory change and international tax agreements that we are currently seeing.

“Competing in the newer global markets is going to be a real challenge. Guernsey is not well known in these regions and there are other jurisdictions that may be geographically closer to these potential clients,‚Äù he says.

Entrepreneurs to the fore

To stay relevant the island will need to lead the market with new product offerings, and that means the leaders of tomorrow will need skills in innovation and entrepreneurship. Le Poidevin points to the jurisdiction’s world first image rights legislation, which came into force this year. Footballers, athletes, musicians and other celebrities can register their often lucrative image rights in Guernsey under the new intellectual property law, which also allows for registration of fictional characters and logos.

“That’s a great example of innovation and we need to see more of that,‚Äù says Le Poidevin. “For Guernsey to stay a jurisdiction that’s relevant, it needs to continue to innovate. You can’t teach people to be innovative: if we don’t see innovators amongst us, we need to go out and find them.‚Äù

It is inevitable that the private wealth industry will internationalise, as clients from new markets in the emerging economies of Africa and the BRIC countries seek advisers who are more globally focused. Individuals leading their businesses in ten or 15 years’ time will have to understand those markets, including the cultural differences in the way that business is done, the language requirements and the commercial challenges.

Clients will in turn have a greater choice of advisers: “One of the ways we can add value is by being more aware of what’s going on outside our own island,‚Äù says Edward Stone, a consultant at the law firm Collas Crill. He says: “We will need to know, and be familiar with, products available elsewhere. Clients’ structures will be multijurisdictional so international experience is going to be crucial.‚Äù

Language skills will be important for the leaders of tomorrow, but perhaps more so will be practical experience of working and establishing personal relationships in emerging markets. But communication challenges go beyond speaking different tongues, says Stone: “Foreign language skills will be useful,‚Äù he says, “and will typically evidence a diverse cultural awareness. But it should not be underestimated how important is having the skill and ability to explain and advise clients and their inter¬≠mediaries in plain and clear English.

“A diverse cultural knowledge and experience will undoubtedly help build relationships, as will good technical ability and commercial nous,‚Äù he says.

Tools for success

Technology will become an increasing feature of the client relationship, and the successful firms will be able to deliver their services in a tailored way across channels, whether using email, web-based applications or mobile phone technology. The delivery of information and reporting to clients will continue to evolve and advisers will need digital strategies.

“The competition is truly international now,‚Äù says Finch, “and there are new entrants in the market place. They have to differentiate their offering in some way, and the way that they report to clients is one of way of doing that. So well established incumbents like ourselves have to accept that other people are forcing the pace of change, and we have to react, or even better, take the lead.‚Äù

Firms will need to be adaptable in order to keep on driving revenue growth, particularly in the face of regulatory change, as new reporting requirements, FATCA, anti-avoidance and anti-abuse rules come into force. These additional costs of compliance will squeeze margins.

Finch says: “Having businesses with scale and international reach will be crucial. People will increasingly look for comfort in the name on the door, and the cost of being in business from a regulatory perspective will squeeze smaller firms out. There’s going to be a minimum amount of clients or assets under management that someone is going to need in order to cover the costs of being in business.‚Äù

Consolidation in the Guernsey private wealth industry therefore looks inevitable, as firms seek scale to remain competitive and cross-border mergers take shape. Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management is a case in point, having rebranded from Collins Stewart Wealth Management following its acquisition by Canaccord Financial of Canada. That deal was announced at the end of 2011 and has completed this year.

Le Poidevin says: “There are a lot of challenges ahead in private wealth, with compliance increasing with FATCA and more transparency on tax matters. There is a drive to cope with that by creating efficiencies. We will see more consolidation in the market, because it’s important to create those efficiencies and look for critical mass to be able to cope with those demands, but also to make businesses better equipped to enter new markets.‚Äù

Tomorrow people

The individuals who run the private wealth sector in Guernsey in the future will have to be much better versed in the regulatory environment, and able to adapt, respond and capitalise on the advantages thrown up by the changing face of the industry.

And they will need to look for opportunities outside the traditional hunting grounds. Finch says: “People are going to need to be increasingly creative. Clearly in Guernsey we are a crown dependency, and so we look to the UK for lots of our cultural leadership. But who’s to say that will work as we move into Africa and Asia. We are going to have to understand a new breed of clients and how their demands play out, and in turn what that means for how we can service them.‚Äù

Stone concludes: “The idea of having a family that all lives in one country is gone. Children or grandchildren have increasingly gone off to study in the US, maybe married foreigners, and possibly then divorced them, and all that creates issues that we will need to be able to get to grips with.‚Äù

The private wealth industry is not standing still, and its future leaders will face many challenges as Guernsey undergoes its generational shift.

About the listing

The Guernsey Future Leaders list has been created from a mix of submissions and feedback and recommendations from the global financial services industry. The list celebrates up and coming leaders in Guernsey. It recognises the high profile and excellence these individuals have already achieved in helping to promote business excellence in their home jurisdiction and consolidating the reputations of the financial services industry globally.

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