Leaders List Interview: 60 seconds with Joe Woodward, Oak Mauritius

Date: 18 Jan 2022

Silvia Ricciardi

Citywealth speaks to Joe Woodward who was appointed managing director of Oak Mauritius in June 2021 and recently relocated to Mauritius from Guernsey to take up the role.

Tell us about your role.

I am Managing Director of Oak Mauritius, leading an office of 34 staff.  We administer around 500 entities for private and corporate clients.

Describe a typical client.

A typical client would be a high net worth South Africa resident looking to structure part of their wealth outside of South Africa for the purpose of succession planning.

What is keeping your clients up at night?

Aside from the heat and mosquitos…with our core market being in South Africa, the emergence of the Omicron variant is currently having a major impact on our client base.

What would people be surprised to know about Mauritius?

Mauritius was the home of the dodo – hopefully I don’t go the same way! Owing to its history, Mauritius is a melting pot of different cultures: French, British, Dutch, African, Indian, Chinese. This makes it the perfect place to conduct international business.

How has your business been affected by the COVID pandemic?

Like everybody, we have had to adapt to new ways of working, online and from home.  Needless to say, it has hampered our ability to travel to visit clients, which is something we’re desperate to get back to doing. Nothing beats that face to face interaction.

Best and worst parts of your job.

The thing I love most about my job is dealing with and managing people.  The hard part is it can be hard to switch off – our clients are spread throughout the world and our job can be 24/7.  Luckily, Oak places a huge emphasis on work/life balance and employee wellbeing, so it is great to have such a fantastic support network.

How do you keep abreast of the fast-paced developments and changes within the industry?

Webinars remain a great way to keep updated on important developments – the increased number of webinars is definitely a positive from the pandemic because they help businesses to remain agile.

Most memorable work moment?

That’s a tough one – probably arriving in Mauritius and walking into the office for the first time; that mix of excitement and terror!

Best piece of advice you have been given?

Look after your staff, they will look after your clients and the business will look after itself.

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