Accuro is continuing to grow and define itself as an innovator in the private trust sector by expanding its London offering to regulated trust and fiduciary services and bringing on board a Chief People Officer for the Group.
Mustafa Hussain has been appointed as Managing Director of the Accuro London office, having joined Accuro in January 2019 from Taylor Wessing LLP, where he was a partner specialising in private wealth. Mustafa will also continue to bring his strategic insights and legal expertise to corporate governance, and will continue to co-chair the Accuro Group Board.
The appointment of Rebecca Hone, as a Chief People Office, underlines the growth agenda and the importance of people. Rebecca Hone has joined Accuro, in London, from Bupa where she delivered HR and people strategy within the insurance business, and led on a number of change and transformation projects. She brings extensive HR and management consultancy experience in financial services. Rebecca will also be joining the holding board to bring an additional perspective to strategic prioritisation, execution and decision-making for the group.
CEO and Co-Founder, Xavier Isaac commented, “Our people are our greatest asset, so the time is right to invest in a Chief People Officer to further integrate our people strategy with the business strategy. Rebecca brings a strong track record of strategy development and execution. Investing in Accuro’s London offering is a natural evolution of our organic growth strategy, and enables us to better serve our clients in this key location. I am delighted to confirm that this will be delivered under Mustafa’s leadership. This is a very exciting time for Accuro.”
Accuro is proud to announce its fourth win of the prestigious Trust Company of the Year (midsize firm) category at the STEP Private Client Awards 2021/22. Accuro has been shortlisted for the award every year since its inception in 2017, taking home the prize four out of the last five years.
Hosted by STEP, the global professional association that promotes excellence for private client professionals, this year’s virtual award ceremony took place on the 23rd September 2021.
STEP subjects all nominees to a rigorous judging process that considers their performance, values and contributions. Its awards are highly-coveted and are the top private client industry accolade.
Accuro stands out in this industry as an independent, fully management-and-staff-owned business, leading the way as a positive force for families, society and the environment, committed to developing long-term relationships and long-term change.
Since its management buy-out in 2017, Accuro has demonstrated its willingness to challenge the status quo and set a new standard in the industry. Attracting clients from across the globe and leading professionals to join its ranks, the business has grown organically into one which now operates from offices in Jersey, Geneva, Mauritius, and London. In 2021 Accuro has welcomed more new employees than ever before.
With a strong tradition of thought-leadership in the industry, a diverse client base, and a company structure that values and recognises the contributions of all staff members as integral to its overall success, Accuro truly lives up to its name: a trust company that cares.
The judges were impressed by Accuro’s focus on ‘values and client service’. In particular, they praised the support it provides its employees, its ownership model, its healthy annual growth figures and its commitment to its values. This includes legally binding changes to its articles of association committing to having a positive impact on society and the environment.
Accuro’s CEO, Xavier Isaac, commented: « The words of the Presiding judges are particularly pleasing because they recognise the relentless efforts of our staff in their pursuit of excellence in client services, while praising at the same time Accuro for applying more sustainable and forward-thinking business practices.”
We are delighted to announce that Accuro Fiduciary has joined the United Nations Global Compact and the UN Global Compact Network UK – a voluntary leadership platform for the development, implementation, and disclosure of responsible business practices.
With this announcement, Accuro is aligning its operations and strategies with universal principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and taking actions that advance societal goals embodied in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Steve Kenzie, Executive Director, UN Global Compact Network UK said “We support business taking actions to advance the Sustainable Development Goals. We are delighted and encouraged by Accuro’s endorsement of our initiative.”
Xavier Isaac, CEO of Accuro commented: “As a company fully owned by its management and staff, we like to use our independence and freedom of action to promote the responsible stewardship of our business based on UN SDGs and sound universally accepted principles. We believe it is also in the best interest of our clients for us to do so.”
Launched in 2000, the UN Global Compact is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world, with more than 12,000 companies and 3,500 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and 69 Local Networks.
We encourage you to visit the UN Global Compact Network UK website to learn more about their work-streams.
Planning in the Middle East often entails family dynamics, law, custom, Shariah and governance. What is the best starting point?
“Clients do not select you because of what you do. They believe in why you do it.
“If your purpose is to protect their loved ones and life’s work or legacy, you can demonstrate this to a family through your insight and solutions.
“Since expertise is a given, not a differentiator, in the Middle East the starting point has to be investment in a meaningful relationship with the family. Build bridges by showing you understand what is important to them. Reflect their values through pertinent solutions. Anticipate their latent needs (the ones they do not realise they have) as well as the issues they seek your counsel on.”
“Trust has to underpin everything you do. It’s evidenced in the Middle East through spending time, being constantly accessible and delivering in every interaction, so that you remain in the circle of trust. Middle Eastern clients have the right to assume that service providers are highly attuned to cultural issues, without the burden being on the client to explain. Invest the time to learn about these: it will be of immeasurable help to you and give confidence to the family.
“Getting to grips with the family dynamics will support the determination of plans to ensure you consult with (or at least keep informed) everyone concerned. That reinforces trust and avoids drama. Keep that as the focus and the governance will fall into place. If you formulate the right questions, applying the law (offshore, onshore or Shariah) will follow.”
Beyond the start, how can practitioners best separate workstreams?
“Do not make the mistake of delivering your advice to the family and assuming that fulfils your role.
“Regardless of what they engage you for, your obligation is to deliver the solution they need.
“Whilst you may not be able to fulfil all aspects yourself, partnering with like-minded service providers (whilst you retain project management) will achieve this.
“Obviously, the basics, such as mapping out the family, defining the lines between them, their personal and business assets and what belongs to whom (which is trickier than it sounds) helps. It is wise to look at the calendar at the outset of the project. If you can see that Ramadan or the Hajj-through-August holiday period falls in the middle of your timetable, it is sensible to anticipate that.
“Also, remember cultural basics: avoid making family members lose face or clash with each other. Have the sensitivity to work out how you deliver briefings, to whom and when.
“Get the private office onside and life will be easier when seeking access to the principals, signatures and scheduling! Start with tax, remember to involve corporate expertise when reviewing group structures and finish with the good governance piece.”
You have specialised in advising Middle Eastern clients for over two decades: in your experience, what do such families really want from their advisors?
“They want you to support them in planning for or resolving the issues that keep them up at night. All other activity funnels into those prime preoccupations.
“The main worries are usually a concern to keep the family together and the fear of falling foul of that proverbial “rags to riches and back again” tri-generational cautionary tale. Diversification of income and capital preservation also drive their decision making. These factors hold true for families in any jurisdiction.
“But, in the Middle East specifically, additional concerns arise from geopolitical factors locals need to hedge against.
“In Europe, we forget or take for granted the privileges of political stability, elected representation, independent judiciary and access to justice as well as a sense of security and transparency around taxation and the actual cost of living and doing business. Not all jurisdictions offer such privileges and rights in the same way. That merits additional planning and makes well-regulated jurisdictions with excellent service providers, like Jersey, an attraction.”
How do you go about demonstrating your understanding of Shariah principles in practice?
“When advising Muslim clients, no matter how adherent or ‘liberal’ they may say they are or appear to be, it is incredibly important not to advise on the basis of your or their assumptions or incomplete information.
“Some clients seek complete adherence to Shariah, as a reflection of moral principles comprising their way of life. Others may surprise you by seeking a religious prescription to apply after their lifetimes – the aim being that their soul will benefit, notwithstanding countenances to the contrary in their lifestyle. It is always frustrating to see ‘avoidance’ of moral principles or planning to ‘evade’ codes.
“Personally, I always explore if the client has fully understood Shariah and its intentions. The aim is to ascertain whether they can work within it, instead of avoiding it. Once clients understand how lifetime gifts, allocation of beneficial interests and other techniques can help them achieve their goals within the religious law, they are happier with the result and need not expose themselves to the risk and discomfort of avoidance.
“Appointing a Muslim protector within a trust, or an expert advisory board can also help embrace all the compliant market solutions in place of taking short cuts to get quick results.”
What are your top tips for family offices in 2021?
“Good governance will be a trend.
“This is not just about responsible business, it actually helps with involving blood family members in the firm without disruption and it assures succession.
“ESG and impact investing are meaningful movements that go beyond trend and will become a hygiene factor. As the second and third generations come into their own, we will see the rise of meritocracy (away from loyalty) as a determinant of success in family businesses.
“I also predict an uptake in the use of corporate vehicles (family investment companies, private funds and limited partnerships) to support collaborative co-investment and succession planning in extended family groups. The future for families is bright and the pandemic has helped re-align perspectives to what matters most in life: health, wellbeing and relationships.”
Published on 18 January 2021 in Jersey Finance
Leading independent private client trustee Accuro is celebrating its landmark third win of the Trust Company of the Year (midsize firm) category at the STEP 2020/21 Private Client Awards.
The award announcements, hosted by STEP, the global professional association that promotes excellence for private client professionals, took place virtually on 9 December 2020.
The STEP awards have been compared to the ‘Oscars’ of the private client industry by insiders. Nominees are subjected to a rigorous, practitioner-led judging process that scrutinizes their performance, values and contribution.
This is a notable win for Accuro: during the last four years Accuro have won the top award in their category three times out of four (and were shortlisted on the fourth occasion).
This spirited run of success marks a period of impressive growth and determined independence for Accuro. Bucking the trends of institutional ownership, the firm has this year bought out its private investor, made confident senior hires and become fully owned by all of its management team and staff.
The Judges noted: “Accuro’s global scope and expertise with diverse and complex assets, coupled with a service model that ensures quality and personal engagement and a focus on providing meaningful work and development resources to its team, really sets it apart.”
Xavier Isaac, co-founder and CEO of Accuro commented: “STEPs leadership in our sector is invaluable. Their championing of an expanded and inclusive virtual platform for these awards proves that. It was a delight to share the occasion with our global staff online live and to celebrate with our peers – not least of all because of the crisis our community, society and industry has endured in this extraordinary year. The way we have all come together to protect our families, clients and colleagues means we can all be proud. We are honored to accept the award, to dedicate it to our staff and we vow to direct even more of our collective efforts next year towards responsible stewardship of wealth and care for our people and planet.”
Award winning independent private client fiduciary Accuro has announced a new Employee Benefit Trust for the benefit of all of its staff. Accuro’s management own over 90% of the firm and with the balance being settled into an EBT (administered from Jersey), this ensures all staff throughout the Group share in its profitability and success.
The launch of the EBT celebrates the rise of Accuro following its management buyout and its remarkable story, evidenced by impressive growth and the buy-out of its external private investor within just three years of launch.
Commenting, Xavier Isaac, CEO of Accuro said: “Our new EBT demonstrates our commitment to embracing a broader purpose than serving only shareholders. Our staff are key stakeholders in our business. In 2017 we pledged to broaden equity participation in our Group to all staff. We are proud to have fulfilled this so quickly. We also see this as a meaningful step within our mission, which is to care for families, their wealth and legacy whilst leading positive change in the global trust industry. Investing in our staff ensures we can put our clients first and assure the future succession of our business from within. It also reinforces our culture; we see all our staff as partners and as proud ambassadors of the Accuro brand.”
For more information please contact:
Xavier Isaac, Tel: +41 22 807 2050