Svetlana Ryabokon, Head of Corporate and Business, Oracle Capital Group

Date: 12 Dec 2011


“Five minute interview”

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

From my area of practice(succession planning, private assets structuring and assets protection for clients from Russian and CIS) I can see a lot of demand for structuring and administration of trusts and private family foundations, personal tax planning (particular for clients who are considering to move to UK, France or Switzerland), legal advice regarding assets transfer to foundations and trusts. Clients from common law jurisdictions such as Russia and CIS very often prefer private family foundation rather than trust, because the concept of foundation (legal entity) is more clear and understandable for them rather than concept of trust (agreement). I believe in next 5 years trusts will be more popular, particular for clients who are buying real estate in UK or moving their families to UK, while for Russian business assets private family foundations will remain as the first choice.

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

I like Russian and CIS clients a lot, as originally I am from that region, first seven years of my professional practice I spend in Russia working as corporate lawyer, therefore I understand my clients, can predict their expectations and worries. Moreover, HNW clients form Russia very entrepreneurial and I am learning a lot from them.

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

I do not believe that ”to take over the world” is a goal for majority of women. Many of women are happy if they can improve the world of those whom they love and care about. And probably that is the way to take over the world.

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

It is difficult to pick up one particular project. At present Russian and CIS wealth is represented by the first generation – generation which created the wealth. When you are working with patriarchs of wealth families all projects are quite unique, because you are dealing mainly with very bright and entrepreneurial people, self-made life achievers.

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

Be a woman, especially if you need to live in a male world.

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

If we are talking about the WM industry: 1) Succession planning because, because who can know better than a woman what is the best for a family and its every particular member? 2) Philanthropy because love and generosity given by a mother and wife is the best philanthropy advice. If we are talking in general, “female touch” can improve any initiative, or at least make it pleasant and attractive.

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

If I need to make a really strong impression then an orphanage or hospice could be an option. The best impressions in our life are those which make us think differently and willing to change something in our life or the life of others.

What is the best thing that has ever been said about you or you have done or won?

My husband once told that everything good he achieved after meeting me in his life is because of me, I was very pleased to know this.

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

Russia and CIS

What would you tell a divorcing woman in the UK?

Britain is a good choice. In Britain there is a good saying “my house is my castle”, and if a woman is divorced in Britain she can realise that it is true.

Is the glass ceiling still with us?

I believe so ans sometimes the glass ceiling very often becomes a false mirror.

What charities do you admire and why? This charity is one of the first created in Russia. It is wonderful organization.

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