Nick Allen tells Citywealth about the changing role of trustees, and the challenges and rewards of moving operational activities from Switzerland to India.
Tell us about your role.
As CEO of Rhone Services, I am responsible for a team of 65 people spread across 5 locations. Rhone itself is a leading international trust group whose key focus is the protection and succession of family wealth. My role is to manage the day to day running and strategic direction of the organisation.
What’s in store for Rhone in 2021?
2021 is a very exciting year for Rhone as we look to continue the delivery of our 2023 mission, vision and values. Such a multi-year initiative will take into consideration multiple projects focusing on our clients, our employees and our organizational strength.
What are the current challenges and opportunities for the trust industry?
The role of trustees has evolved rapidly along with the trust industry itself. Therefore, it is vital that Trustees understand the applicable foreign taxation/legal regimes and whilst remaining compliant with strict regulations and our clients’ wishes. We continue to believe that those Trustees, such as Rhone, who have in-house legal, tax, accounting, and administrative talent to deliver said complex fiduciary services, will be best placed to adapt to any changing industry requirements.
Most memorable work moment?
Migrating operational activities from Switzerland to India. Moving complex procedures combined with different cultures and time zones was certainly very challenging. Seeing a functioning team in Mumbai collaborating with their Swiss colleagues and thus providing continuity and minimal impact to the end clients was rewarding for all involved.
What do you consider to be the most important attributes for a leader?
Listening is key, but listening in an empathetic manner is a differentiator. By really trying to understand what your team are aiming to tell you and what they are experiencing i.e. figuratively ‘being in their shoes’, this for me is the difference between leaders who listen to those who hear.
If you weren’t in the wealth management industry, what else might you be doing?
Teaching but moreover teaching sport. I am passionate about the coaching and the development side of my role – I find this one of the most rewarding and often the most challenging part of being a leader. Helping people develop and achieve their goals and being able to see the results of your efforts is truly rewarding.