International Women in Wealth five minute interview: Lucy Brennan, Partner, Saffery

Date: 02 Dec 2011


What signature taxation, laws, trusts or investments do you think work?

Developments in CGT for both EIS and Entrepreneur’s relief (in the increase of the lifetime allowance) and potential in the proposals for non domiciled individuals to bring funds to the UK to invest are positives for some.

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

They are not going to take over the world, they are going to work side by side with men.

What size of client do you generally work with?

I work with clients who have income from approximately £100k plus per annum. Usually they will have some sort of asset backing, business, or interesting structure also.

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

The most interesting is a client who is constantly looking to expand overseas requiring different tax advice for each company he looks to go into.

What lessons have you learned that you could share with women starting out in the finance industry?

Trying to work in the same way as your male colleagues is not necessarily the way to get ahead. Know your strengths and build on those.

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

I feel that women should have the same support that is given to men. It should be specific to their needs, such as those with child care responsibilities whether male or female. Within Saffery Champness I feel that women are supported.

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

By legislating one is risking companies bringing in women that do not have the right fit with the current directors and do not have the appropriate experiences or skills to take the company forward.

If you had to win a wealthy new client where would you take them to impress them?

I find clients are fee conscious and feedback I’ve had when firms have taken clients to top restaurants is that they think ultimately they will be paying for it.

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

Being a dedicated partner to my clients. Being involved in a top 20 accountancy firm with large support networks in tax and accounting, but still having small firm, friendly appeal. My experience of working with clients who have an interest in a diverse range of industries and structures for those interests

What is the next big thing in private wealth management?

UHNW demands for information regarding their affairs as computerisation continues it’s growing storm across the globe.

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

I do not believe I would be where I am today.

Is the glass ceiling still with us?

Yes it is. It is not as bad as when I started out my career and certainly not in as many organisations.

What charities do you admire and why?

I admire almost all charities, those that work to support the sick, the homeless, those that are disadvantaged.

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

To take all advice that is given, work hard and learn from each lesson. Do not give up.

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