International Women in Wealth five minute interview: Gill Smith, Partner, Moore Stephens

Date: 02 Dec 2011


What signature taxation, laws, trusts or investments do you think really work for uhnw clients and why?

Despite the FA08 changes, the rules for non-domiciliaries can make the UK attractive.

Are there any private clients in the world you would really like to work with?

All private clients are unique. A lot of my clients I had not heard of until they came to me.

Are women really going to take over the world, if so how?

I think they have, it is just that no-one has told the men…

What is the most interesting or unusual private client deal you have ever been involved with?

I’ll never forget conducting a meeting with a client on his super-yacht moored in the Med.

What lessons have you learned that you could share with women?

Never be afraid to ask. If you do not understand the chances are that at least half of the room doesn’t either.

What initiatives do you have or do you think there should be for women?

I think mentoring less experienced colleagues is very important.

Do you think the British government should legislate to bring women on boards?

No – women have to get there on merit.

What are your three USP’s for working with uhnw clients?

Understanding what drives a client, not being afraid to say a proposal is a complete non-starter and really listening.

What is the best thing that has ever been said about you?

In the middle of a fairly complex transaction a client said I always made them feel very calm, so it would appear I also have some acting skills.

What is your individual focus in terms of countries and uhnw clients?


How much do you travel on business and where do you tend to go?

To the offshore centres.

What is the next big thing in private wealth management?

With the current economic climate and reviews on broker charges, many clients are turning to institutional index funds.

Will you still be successful as a woman if you don’t dress the part?

Not successful in business, no.

What would you tell a divorcing woman in the UK, whether she was British or International, and why?

To keep asking questions until she understands her finances.

Is the glass ceiling still with us?

Probably not.

What charities do you admire and why?

Tommy’s, which funds research into pregnancy problems, from which I suffered. Also they went from a small beginning to now being a well known charity.

What is the dummies guide to making it to the top in finance or pwm?

Dummies don’t make it.

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