STEP 60-second interview with Paul Douglas

STEP 60-second interview with Paul Douglas

Paul Douglas is the Managing Director of Accuro in Jersey.

What does your firm or employer do, and what is your role there?

Accuro operates a multi-jurisdictional Trust and Private Office business, to care for and protect families and their wealth for the long term. I am one of the founding partners, a board member, and Managing Director of the Jersey office, where I’m involved in our business growth strategy.

What is the most important thing STEP does, in your opinion?

STEP’s role in constantly developing industry standards through information sharing, representation and education.

You are one of the judges at this year’s STEP Private Client Awards in December. What led you to get involved?

I was delighted to have been selected as a judge, after Accuro was either nominated for, or won, Trust Company of the year (Midsize) for each of the last three years.

What do you think makes a good Private Client Awards submission?

I would say an entry that directly answers the question with substantiated facts, and in particular reflects how the business brings innovation to our industry.

What do you most like about your job?

While the private client industry is perpetually evolving, in many respects, the issues surrounding the succession of wealth across families remain the same. I find it highly motivating to help clients’ families to navigate global complexities, and work with our team to build a business to meet these challenges.

What would you say to a young person thinking of a career in this industry?

The fiduciary industry is multi-faceted and offers many options. By choosing an area you most enjoy, you will inevitably excel, and derive job satisfaction. Find the right firm – I’d recommend one that places an emphasis on continued education (and ideally is a STEP Employer Partner), recognises the importance of work-life balance, and has a culture of doing things right first time.

Which sectors are likely to see the strongest future growth, do you think?

The private client industry continues to see rapid transformation. Many trust and fiduciary providers have moved away from this sector, owing to perceived higher risk/lower reward. However, the accumulation and transferral of wealth across generations is only going to increase, resulting in a limited pool of top quality service providers to meet demand.

What about jurisdictions?

Private clients are paying much more attention to associating themselves with jurisdictions that have a stringent regulatory framework, a strong wealth management infrastructure and a talent pool that has mastered the issues required to deliver market leading financial services.

What trends do you see in the global private wealth sector at the moment?

International planning has to be bespoke to reflect the cross-jurisdictional nature of families and their assets. However many providers do not wish to accept this, and offer a standardised approach to their administration of structures. Inevitably, this leads to dissatisfied clients; hence the trend towards independent boutique trust companies, single and multi-family offices.

What do you feel are the main challenges facing your organisation at the moment, and how will you deal with them?

Increasing global complexities arising from tax legislation, regulations and transparency initiatives are not necessarily new, but as they evolve, businesses need to constantly adapt to meet these challenges. In addition, the younger generation demands greater social and environmental consciousness from the manufacturers of the goods they consume. As they come into wealth, they will ask the same from their wealth advisors, hence the importance of being able to accompany them when they seek to deploy their wealth in a more sustainable and responsible manner.

We will also have to attract the next generation of talent to work in the industry. This generation seeks a working environment where their values are aligned with those of their employers, and where they can grow as individuals and as professionals.

Which social media channels do you use and why?

LinkedIn for business, Twitter for news and Facebook to connect with family and friends.

Paul Douglas is one of the founders of Accuro, and is the Managing Director of Accuro in Jersey. He has a STEP Advanced Certificate in Family Enterprise Advising.

6 April 2020, Paul Douglas, www.step.org

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