The protagonists of the Magic Circle Awards 2022

Date: 18 May 2022

Silvia Ricciardi

Citywealth put under the spotlight the outstanding individuals who won a GOLD Award at the Magic Circle Awards 2022, learning more about their career journey and what it takes to be successful in what you do.

For over 16 years Citywealth’s Magic Circle Awards have been attracting the leading professionals from the top firms in the wealth management sector, recognising their achievements and celebrating their triumph in the heart of London.

Citywealth put under the spotlight the outstanding individuals who won a GOLD Award at the Magic Circle Awards 2022, learning more about their career journey and what it takes to be successful in what you do.

Introducing (some of) the Magic Circle 2022 protagonists

Dakis Hagen, Barrister of the year – GOLD Award:

Dakis has only ever been a Serle Court since his pupillage 20 years ago. His career has focused heavily on trust litigation which, according to Dakis, is more varied than it sounds because it brings in such a broad range of work in different jurisdictions, acting for clients from around the world. 

Julie Zingiloglu, Trustee of the Year – GOLD Award:

Julie started her career in Jersey almost 30 years ago and worked in various trust roles before moving to Switzerland in 2003 with Coutts Trustees as a Vice President. She briefly moved back to Jersey in 2010 where she joined JTC Private Client Services and transferred back to Switzerland in 2012 to help establish the JTC Swiss Office. She is also a qualified Chartered Secretary.

Nicola Brown, Wealth Professional Award – GOLD Award:

Nicola is a Client Director in the Corporate & Employer Solutions Team based in ZEDRA’s Guernsey office. She started her career in finance relatively late in life, as at the beginning of her career journey she was a cancer research fellow at King’s College in London. After a career change, she started at the bottom with her current employer. This gave her a firm grounding in her sector which she describes as invaluable and allowed her to move swiftly through the ranks. Nicola’s clients include those from FTSE 100, 250, AIM listed, partnerships and private companies with a variety of shareholding structures ranging from a small number of key executives, to 2,500 employees with extensive assets under management.

Whilst continuing to maintain key client relationships for the Corporate & Employer Solutions department, Nicola have looked to expand her role and she now contributes to the delivery of the team strategy and assists with the development of key product offerings, with a view to driving and implementing efficiencies. Her entrepreneurial spirit means she is quick to offer new and existing opportunities to evolve or expand clients’ incentive arrangements, as well as introduce clients to advisors who would be best suited to help them achieve their aims.

Kathryn von Matthiessen, Woman of the Year – GOLD Award:

Kathryn had the pleasure of starting her career as a summer associate at Katten, then Rosenman & Colin, and receiving an offer from the Trusts and Estates department. She has changed firms and State locations during her career, but she is very happy to have returned home to Katten.

Successful career progression… not without difficulties to overcome

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill’s memorable quote helps put every challenge in prospective. Difficult situations are always around the corner, but every problem not only comes with a solution, but also with an extraordinary wealth of experience that can be built up and extremely useful for a successful career progression.

“I have had to overcome many difficult situations in my career, – explains Julie Zingiloglu, Managing Director at JTC – it is the challenges that earned me the strength and leadership skills to progress to where I am today. The key thing is to learn from the experience and implement changes to use it to your advantage going forward.”

Nicola Brown, Director at ZEDRA, goes into detail, telling Citywealth’s readers how she successfully ‘saved the day’ when involved in an important sale. “I work with a wide variety of corporate clients and their employees, from incentive plan implementation to vesting and other value ‘lifecycle’ events. I was involved in the £1.4bn sale of a UK-based technology company. The purchaser’s advisors raised a question at the eleventh hour which could have jeopardised the sale. At the settlor’s request both myself and Elaine Graham (Director and Head of the Corporate & Employer Solutions Team) were asked to join the completion call. Whilst on the call, I liaised with the trustee’s legal advisors to assist the company with coming up with a solution which would allow the transaction to not only continue but complete on time. The client responded in thanks, stating ‘you saved the day’.”

When last-minute changes happen, it is crucial to promptly adapt and quickly adopt the latest acquired information at your advantage. This is exactly what Dakis Hagen, Barrister at Serle Court, put in place: “Once when I was a junior, I had to finish off a part heard trial for a QC who was double booked. On the first day of the resumed trial I had to call a witness for my client, who surprised everyone – including me – by producing in the witness box a clip of documents from the inside pocket of his leather jacket which no-one knew he had, as well as an old mobile phone with a key text message on it which was game changer for the case. It was a bit of a shock, because no one knew that this was coming or what these things would say (or how on earth we would deal with it if it was bad for us)… but luckily they were helpful and we won!”

“When I was a senior associate, I was assigned to a project with a client who did not want to work with a woman,” reveals Kathryn von Matthiessen, Partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman. “A senior male partner oversaw my work as a result, and was involved with the initial client conversations. By the time we concluded the project, the client had determined that he actually did like working with women. The senior male partner had let me run with the project and establish a bond with the client.”

Being a winner of the Magic Circle Awards 2022

“It does truly feel wonderful to be recognised for your hard work, but I did not expect any special praise or acknowledgement for doing what I felt I should be doing for my employer, – states Nicola, who adds – Yet for someone at ZEDRA, to notice and to submit an application on my behalf which was recognised by wealth professionals, this is truly humbling. I would encourage everyone to always do their best because you never know who is watching and how it might turn out!”

Kathryn says: “It is a tremendous honour, and I very much appreciate Citywealth’s attention to our field.”

Dakis comments: “It is very flattering and quite humbling, given who was also on the list.”

“It was huge honour first to have been shortlisted and then to have won this prestigious award,” states Julie. “Having worked in the trust industry for almost 30 years, it is a real privilege to be recognised by Citywealth.”

Reaching your career goals: our Magic Circle 2022 protagonists recommend to…

… focus on figuring out what you love. It turns out problem solving is what I love. The identification of this allowed me to expand my horizons and turn my passion into an enjoyable successful career which I would never have envisaged at the outset. Success didn’t happen by magic – it took drive, patience and a lot of learning. I am delighted to say that I work for an organisation which embraced my different skillset and was willing to take a punt on my potential. I was snubbed by many institutions and overlooked for interview as I was deemed to be over educated, but at ZEDRA I truly feel that I fit in. I am extremely lucky to say that I am surrounded by similar passionate people who support each other to reach their full potential. If you had asked me 15 years ago if I could have seen myself in the corporate sector, I would have laughed. It sounds corny but when you love what you do and the people you work with, it isn’t work anymore, it is your passion! – Nicola Brown

… never underestimate your opponent in litigation and always treat him or her with respect. – Dakis Hagen

… implement key skills, like the ones that helped me in my career, such as commitment, empathy (with clients and colleagues) and decision making. The advice I would share is not to be afraid to challenge decisions as this is what sets you apart from others and also shows that you care about the consequences of that decision. – Julie Zingiloglu

 enjoy what you do, and your career will take you far. – Kathryn von Matthiessen

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