Kate Maurice, a manager at Dixon Wilson, took home the Tomorrow Club Award at the 2019 Magic Circle Awards. The Tomorrow Club Award recognises an outstanding young professional who has gained visibility in the market, demonstrated enthusiasm and passion for the industry and is making a positive contribution to the wider community.
In this interview, Kate provides an insight into her daily life and shares some of her recent accomplishments.
Tell me about your role.
Being a manager at Dixon Wilson I am the person responsible for preparing the work for the partners that our clients ask of us. As a generalist, I look after a variety of clients, from families and family trusts, to charity audits, to solar farm corporation tax returns, to the one-off pieces of tax advice and tax planning. My role also includes training and assisting the juniors on our graduate scheme with their development to become Chartered Accountants.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I like to get into the office early in the morning to work out my to-do list for the day but inevitably clients have other ideas and so I spend a lot of my day answering client emails and phone calls as they pop up. More recently I have also been attending client meetings which gives me an opportunity to learn from the more experienced members of the firm. Aside from this I will be continuing with the larger pieces of work, such as preparing accounts, tax returns or due diligence reports for partner review. My work is very varied, some days I will be managing an audit of a company or charity and the next I will be dealing with HMRC on a personal tax enquiry. I also spend a lot of my time helping juniors with the work I have assigned to them or just the more general queries that they have.
Tell us about interesting client instructions.
As a junior you are often sent to clients’ homes or offices collect and/or drop off important client papers. On one occasion, as a new junior, I was asked by the client to answer a couple of questions before I could prepare the tax return from the bank statements. One of the questions was “do you have a choice” and this lead to a very passionate philosophical discussion and one that I was not entirely prepared for.
Why did you decide to enter the wealth management industry?
The ACA is a brilliant qualification and so I was keen to work towards that. I have always been fairly nosey and working in a firm like Dixon Wilson where you assist with all aspects of the client’s life allows me to put that particular “skill” to good use.
What is your proudest professional achievement to date?
Passing the Inheritance Tax Trusts and Estates CTA paper – it was the first exam I had ever failed and therefore I took it quite badly, I almost gave up but decided I shouldn’t waste all the hard work and effort so I picked myself up and managed to pass it second time.
Who do you most admire and why?
It is very clichéd, but my parents. They have both have/had (one is now retired) long and successful careers whilst ensuring that they were always, and are still to this day, available for me and my sister and our friends, whatever our needs. I hope I can have a career which is as successful as theirs whilst also juggling the stresses and strains of raising a family with as much love and laughter and security as they have given me.
Which other responsibilities within the organisation do you hold?
I am the former chairman, but still current member, of the social committee, I am in charge of a few of the new graduate intake induction sessions and I am part of the group that makes decisions around various software packages in use throughout our office.
Which skills do you think wealth professionals need to possess to make it in today’s industry?
Resilience, good communication skills which also include being a good listener and a good sense of humour.
If you weren’t in the wealth management industry, what else might you be doing?
I would have loved to have been the physio for the England rugby team – but that was more of a dream than a reality.
How do you relax after a long day? Do you have any hobbies outside of work?
After a long day, and with summer evenings as they are, I relax by spending time with my friends in the sunshine and taking advantage of the endless London pubs, bars and activities (I am current champion at Putt in the Park). I enjoy watching (and playing) most sports with rugby, tennis and cricket being my favourites and I love to spend time with my nephew and niece endlessly trying to get a glimmer of a smile or even in some cases a laugh.