Meet the SUPERADVISORS 2019
Citywealth recently held an open call to those aged 40 or under in the wealth management industry in search of the next ‘future leaders’. We wanted to know about their interesting deals and cases, the responsibilities they hold within their organisation, their hobbies outside of work, their philanthropic efforts, as well as a funny story or anecdote to share from their working life so far. After much deliberation by a senior panel of industry leaders and the Citywealth editorial team, we are pleased to unveil our 2019 Top 100 Future Leaders, the ‘superadvisors’ of the next generation.
Much is said of ‘millennials’; they shy away from long hours, favouring a work-life balance, they aren’t afraid to question authority, they crave feedback and guidance, and they are prone to job-hopping always looking for the next best thing. Yet, the responses we received painted a very different picture. The submissions told of their resilience, dedication to pursuing a career in the industry and their sense of humour in times of stress.
For these ‘superadvisors’, their commitment to the day role is matched by their dedication to citizenship within their local communities. This new breed of advisor possesses the skills required to deliver a gold standard client service, while also donating time to serving on the board of a local charity, or promote thought leadership within their organisation.
We asked senior leaders in the industry what they are looking for in the next generation of potential leaders.
According to Jonathan Conder, a private client partner at Macfarlanes, it’s important that they be a ‘people person’. “The private client industry is all about relationships and in this industry, the client and the relationship is the priority. That’s not the same within the corporate world, so it’s important those choosing this industry understand the difference”.
He also looks closely at the way in which an individual conducts themself. “I’m looking for those who take on extra responsibility early on. At any point in your career you can demonstrate aptitude, willingness and a desire to help the business progress. Depending on the stage of your career that might be taking an interest in business development, or article writing, or attending client meetings. The important message is that you can start at any time and you don’t need to be a leader to demonstrate aspects of leadership”.
Leadership is also high on the list of qualities that Yogi Dewan, CEO Hassium Asset Management is looking for. “Motivating others to believe and follow is not easy. You will be more successful if you focus on training and developing the broader team around you. Building a culture of open communication actively seeking feedback and listening is key. Making tough decisions but with a sensitivity and empathy. Being long term focused but not forgetting what has to be done short term. Leading by example in everything you do helps others buy into you and your vision”, he said.
For Richard Prosser, Group Director of Estera in Jersey, the key skill will be communication: “The advisers of the future will need to make sure they devote sufficient time to client relationships to be able to ask the difficult questions and really understand their clients’ thoughts and needs”.
In the spirit of constant self-improvement, we also asked which are the areas that future leaders need to pay further attention to.
According to Dewan, professional image should not be overlooked. “Most youngsters want casual Fridays every day. Even if your clients are casual you need to be professional in your appearance and how you engage all the time. It’s a sign of maturity and clients expect it without saying it. I spend so much time getting youngsters to look and act older; synonymous with better decision making and judgment.”
Conder pointed to the changes in the industry that require a higher grasp of IT awareness and tech savviness. “Learning about AI, automation and innovation – skills above and beyond being a good lawyer are of increasing need. Clients are concerned with efficiencies and cost savings, and the successful firms of the future will need to understand how IT can help achieve this. For the next generation it will be important to understand both languages – IT and law – to find the best client solutions”.
For Prosser, it’s important that the soft skills aren’t forgotten. “Technical expertise will increasingly become a given so the advisers of the future need to be able to help their clients plan early and communicate their vision and wishes. This will require soft skills, empathy, tact and the ability to have balanced conversations”, he said.
Below is a selection of our Top 100 Future Leaders whose stories we hope inspire.
Camilla Baldwin Solicitors, London
Ailsa is a family lawyer at the boutique firm, Camilla Baldwin. A sign of the firm’s trust in Ailsa is evident in her role as first point of contact for all new enquiries and potential clients. This is a sensitive role as often clients are voicing their concerns about their family issue for the first time. Ailsa carefully obtains the relevant information to establish the client’s objectives and whether the firm can assist. Ailsa’s caseload consists of complex, high-net-worth financial matters, often with an international element. She also represents clients in children cases, including applications for leave to permanently remove children from the jurisdiction of England and Wales.
Ailsa participates in the firm’s monthly pro bono legal advice clinic at HMP Send, advising women prisoners on their rights to see their children whilst in prison, and where appropriate, assisting these prisoners in having their children returned into their care once released.
Saffery Champness, Guernsey
Lindsey demonstrates that you can take on additional responsibility at any age or level of your career. To date, she is involved in the firm’s ACCA Platinum Approved Employer accreditation working with HR on the submission. She ensures all trainees are receiving the relevant experience to meet the standards. She’s also led an initiative to take a stand at the Guernsey Careers Show to assist with trainee recruitment, beating the target of 50 sign ups, by achieving more than 200.
She’s also leading the audit department’s marketing activity and is studying digital marketing and customer engagement courses through the Open University during her own time. All this, while having only returned from maternity leave in June 2018.
Not one to sit still, she has teamed up with a group of ladies to launch a community greenhouse on a 65ft plot. The aim is to be self-sufficient, teach children about where food comes from and support local charitable cafes. She also launched a baby food pouch recycling scheme with support from the States of Guernsey’s Environment Department and a number of the island’s nurseries. She has collected almost 500 pouches since October 2018 and the project is going from strength to strength as more nurseries come on board.
She is described as “conscientious and hardworking” and as someone “passionate about CSR and supporting local community projects and charities”.
Client Relationship Manager
Louvre Trust, Guernsey
As a trustee, Matthew is often involved in historical, high risk or sensitive cases, but sometimes there is a lighter side to the work as was the case in a recent matter involving a trust whose settlor died with no heirs and after an application to the court from the disenfranchised beneficiaries, a small proportion of the trust fund was applied to some charities chosen by Louvre as trustee. This brought a new raft of beneficiaries from all over the world, and one in particular in California. ‘Chuck’ as he will be known for these purposes, was in his late 20s and openly admitted not knowing much about trust law but after being informed and successfully applying for a small distribution to cover some medical expenses, he started to get a better understanding. A month later, he asked for $40,000 to make a 30th trip with his girlfriend around Europe to try the ‘stuff’ claiming it was too expensive and weak in California. Following the rejection of his request, he called every Friday for a month to make up different excuses for needing the money. Eventually after many rejections he admitted defeat and to this day, the trustees will never know if he ever made his trip to Europe.
Alongside managing a number of relationships with UHNW clients and supporting more junior members of the team, Matthew has also taken on responsibility for business development and marketing, regularly travelling to London to meet existing and prospective clients and intermediaries. In addition to this, he heads up the CSR and charitable giving function and has been instrumental in the launch of Louvre’s own charitable foundation. He’s also spearheaded an initiative to provide all staff with a CSR half day each year so that they can spend a morning or afternoon supporting a local charity close to their heart.
He balances work with family life at home with his wife and twins, who at 2 and a half years old are huge Peppa Pig fans (according to them she lives in London meaning their father must surely have met her on his business trips).
Greig’s technical expertise lies in private trust companies and UK property holding structures. He manages a team and his own portfolio of entities including trust and corporate structures for international UHNW families.
His skill in business development is illustrated by a recent matter whereby he helped a client through the sale and purchase of their commercial property and took on the buyer as a new client as a result.
Within the organization, he champions wellbeing and has organised a couch-to-5k running programme, introductions to pilates and strength and condition training, along with having organised the 2019 London Marathon team. He was also recently appointed as the Chairman of IQ-EQ’s Community Investment Committee, which works with local charities to provide support, volunteers and fundraising initiatives.
Personally, he is training for his first Ironman in Hamburg in July, and recently took part in the London Marathon and a half-Ironman at Les Sables d'Olonne in June. If that wasn’t enough, he is also cycling the Atlas Mountains in Morocco to raise £2000 for Jersey Hospice. This is the fourth time he has participated in the Jersey Hospice Cycling Challenge; prior to his first challenge he wasn’t even a cyclist.
Despite being so busy, he still has time to see the funny side of life particularly when caught in a dilemma. One scenario saw him split his trousers upon departing an aeroplane on the way to meeting a client in London. With no time to buy a new pair, he carefully placed his coat over his lap and had to hold on to it tightly as the hotel staff offered to take it for him!
Levison Meltzer Pigott, London
Alistair is a great example of someone who has risen through the ranks of an organisation, he began his career at LMP as a paralegal in 2005 and just 10 years later became a partner. Day to day he advises clients on family law disputes including financial remedy cases often involving assets in different jurisdictions and complicated trust structures. His work has recently seen him in a race for jurisdiction which went to the European Court of Justice, which he and his team won. He has also recently concluded an €80 million prenuptial agreement for an Anglo-German UHNW client.
Within the firm, Alistair has also taken on responsibility for all IT issues and is helping to push boundaries through a tie-up with Settify, a legal tech company providing AI-driven online conversational systems. LMP is using the Settify form, to offer its clients another ‘touch point’. Accessed via the “Get Started Online” buttons on the LMP website, clients fill in an online interview providing a brief of their situation. As a result, the initial meeting with a member of LMP is more focussed on strategy and resolving issues rather than just data gathering.
Frank Hirth, London
Matthew joined Frank Hirth back in 2007 fresh from university as part of the entry level tax assistants’ scheme and became an associate director in 2018. Today you might find him advising a rock band with a major international touring and merchandise business, or advising famous sports stars, due to having built a niche advising high profile transatlantic individuals in the entertainment, sports and media industries. On the side, he sits on Frank Hirth’s Tax Technical committee and recently was involved in drafting submissions to the US Treasury in response to their request for comments on various proposed regulations resulting from the recent US tax reforms.
Not one to leave the day job at the office, during a recent driving test, he learnt that his examiner’s son was in the process of marrying an American, and therefore in need of specialist tax advice. Matthew spent the remainder of the test combining parallel parking and emergency stops with the finer points of international asset structuring and planning for potential dual citizen grandchildren. He passed first time, credit to his tax advisory skills you might say, if you agree with his wife.
As if that wasn’t enough, he is currently involved in a home renovation project.
Boodle Hatfield, London
Becky works within the art law team at Boodle Hatfield and her recent work includes claims for breach of copyright in street art, which is a cutting edge area of the law. Last year one of her cases hit the headlines, involving a street artist's claim against online fashion retailer Boohoo.com relating to the use of the artists’ work in a nationwide advertising campaign, without his knowledge, permission or consent. Together with former partner Tim Maxwell, Becky represented the artist in his claim against Boohoo.com which was successfully settled out of court on a confidential basis.
Alongside her day-to-day work, Becky provides legal workshops for gallery owners and has spoken at the Institute of Art and Law, Courtauld Law Society, Christie’s Education and Sotheby's Institute on art law and litigation. She also contributes to the firm’s award-winning Art Law & More blog, Twitter and Instagram, which she co-founded in 2015.
Her philanthropy includes serving as a legal trustee on the board of the De Morgan Foundation, a charity which owns, cares for and preserves the largest collection of ceramics and oil paintings by William and Evelyn De Morgan. Her involvement with this charity is very hands-on and she has advised on a range of agreements, as well as attending board meetings and helping with the day-to-day running of the charity.
Rathbone Investment Management, London
Rebecca is behind a new initiative being offered at Rathbones this year, a holistic offering supporting women who are recently divorced or widowed and may not have had experience overseeing the family’s wealth. Having identified the need for a ‘holistic offering’ for this group, she is running a pilot which addresses the gap in their financial awareness knowledge, empowers them to make more informed decisions and takes into consideration their unique needs in an empowering way.
Last year, Rebecca co-founded Rathbones’ diversity and inclusion network and actively champions diversity throughout the firm.
As a single mum herself, Rebecca understands the challenges around personal finance facing single parents. She regularly presents with “She’s on the money” and other networks, educating women on the basics of saving and investing. Rebecca also talks to audiences on the cost of having children and they ways of saving and investing for them.
Juliet is a seasoned investigator with over 15 years’ experience working at the sharp end of issues and crises and leads the intelligence and investigations service at reputation and privacy law firm Schillings. She recently led a team acting for a UK family company which was the target of irrational conspiracy theories being published via an online blog. Under her leadership, the team uncovered the identity of the blogger and pieced together their motivations and intentions regarding the malicious campaign against the client. With the help of an interlocutor, the issue was resolved.
Within the firm, Juliet also looks after knowledge management with a remit to ensure staff consistently possess
es first class information at their fingertips. She is also a member of the firm’s Operational Management Team, ensuring efficiency and collaboration across the organisation.
Juliet is diligent; and much to the amusement of her colleagues, she practices her presentations on her children. They might be the only children of primary age who understand the terms ‘defamation’ and ‘open source intelligence’. Yet they are some of her harshest critics, having walked out on her, heckled, and strongly advised her to create more engaging presentations with less text and more pictures.
In her spare time, you might find her volunteering for Inspiring Girls, an organisation dedicated to connecting young girls with female role models, sailing, or treasure-hunting in car boot sales.
Stephenson Harwood, Hong Kong
Based in Hong Kong, Jovanne advises HNW individuals on their real estate issues. Last year, she acted for nearly 30 HNW individuals in an en-bloc sale of their residential properties in a prestigious area in Hong Kong. The transaction was valued at more than £300million. It was a challenging task for the team as each owner had their own concerns about the sale of their property. Not only did the team have to take care of the drafting of the documents to facilitate the sale, they had to take into account the opinion and comments of the owners, the middlemen and the potential buyers. After prolonged conversations with the parties involved, 100 percent agreement was reached for the set of documents required to execute the sale of the properties.
Jovanne demonstrates the same level of dedication and commitment to her tasks at work as she does her baking in her leisure time. As a legal adviser, it is important to pay attention to detail and make changes to accommodate clients' needs, and as a baker, it is equally important for her to ensure the accurate amounts of ingredients are included and to be flexible in modifying recipes to cater for others' dietary needs.
According to her line manager, she always carries a smile despite the long hours and challenging work.