The wealth management industry, by its very nature, is truly global. That's why AP Executive is active in more than 45 jurisdictions around the globe, and along with Jersey has further offices in Guernsey, London, Geneva, Zurich and Cyprus servicing international candidates and clients.
Organically grown in Guernsey in1990, the AP Group particularly stands out from its competitors in the Channel Islands. This is due to our international reach of candidates and clients who put their reliance on our global knowledge and expertise in wealth management and IT. Trust and fiduciary in particular, which is a niche global industry of more than17,000 employees has steadily grown over the years and gives candidates the opportunity to travel to various jurisdictions and add international experience to their careers. AP Executive plays an important part in career development for trust professionals by having the expertise and knowledge of the global trust market which local 'High Street' agencies do not. We can guide and advise you on living and working in such places like the Caribbean and Miami, plus Latin America, Asia and Europe as our consultants travel to these destinations annually so have the ability to have first hand knowledge and contacts. We are staffed by qualified consultants who network with international clients on a regular basis and who specialise in all different areas of wealth management.
For example, the Jersey office, which I manage, is responsible for local recruitment as well as in the Caribbean, Bermuda and Cayman as well as the US and Luxembourg.
This global emphasis is much more than just notching up new markets where we can do business. It's an integral part of providing a professional and personal service in an industry where international expertise is so important. Our aim is to fill vacancies with the very best candidates, regardless of national borders.
Of course in small jurisdictions, such as Jersey and Guernsey, we do provide our local clients with quality locally experienced candidates too. In our experience, Jersey and Guernsey employers far prefer to take on a local candidate as first preference, rather than bringing in professionals from outside the islands.
However, it isn't always possible to fill a senior vacancy locally. This is usually due to specific professional qualifications needed or expertise required which is either new to the island or not readily available. This is where AP Executive is best placed in the local recruitment market to be top of its field for providing global knowledge and professional guidance to local employers.
With our database of professionals around the world, we can quickly identify those candidates who might be suited to any particular local vacancy. This often means considering more than just the professional qualifications of the applicant, important though that is. When moving from one jurisdiction to another it's also important to consider all of the other factors. There's not much point in placing a highly qualified candidate in a jurisdiction where they are unable to adapt to a different lifestyle or way of working.
Our international network of candidates and clients helps us to provide much more than just a recruitment service. We are consultants who can help in many aspects of the process, including costs for accommodation, schooling for children - even the best restaurants to sample!
While our particular niche is in the area of wealth management, we also have expertise in related areas such as compliance, wealth planning, funds and investments.
Our expertise in wealth management has been recognised by the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) with whom we have been partners for nearly ten years. We regularly attend STEP conferences around the world, and promote the benefits of STEP qualifications.
Qualifications such as these are a crucial first step for any candidate, but experience is also a massive advantage, particularly in the Channel Islands. We find that many local candidates are happy to go overseas to gain international experience for a few years, and then return to the islands equipped to take up a senior position. Others may choose to stay overseas, and it's not uncommon for Channel Island professionals to move to other jurisdictions to gain international exposure for most of their career before bringing back to their islands their knowledge and in most cases a second language !
This free flow of expertise is essential to the Channel Islands. . We must do everything possible to help locally qualified candidates and ensure that they have the skills and experience required, and that may mean allowing them a 'leave of absence' from the island which doesn't restrict them from returning with ideas from other shores. This is still the case even during the current uncertain times.
Most small jurisdictions impose time limits for non-local staff, but they are generally welcomed for the essential roles they play. There is a misconception in Jersey, for example, that non local staff are not welcome. As mentioned, it is certainly true that employers will favour local staff, but there are licences available for those from outside who have the qualifications and international experience to make a significant contribution to the industry. Certainly both employers and candidates are more cautious at present, although in some emerging markets there is little sign of recession. Until the European situation is resolved and the UK government stops trying to put trading restrictions on the islands then we have no choice but to remain cautiously optimistic of a buoyant economic climate returning.
It is certainly true, however, that economic difficulties have injected a new sense of realism into the recruitment market. Candidates are being much more realistic about salaries and about the ease with which they can move into a new job.
The emphasis on experience and skills is likely to continue and we are a keen supporter of local efforts to improve the skills base. We have entered into a partnership with the Jersey International Business School and will support them where we can. We are a global company but never forget our roots and will continue to promote the Channel Islands as an excellent place to improve careers and lifestyles.
About AP Group
AP Group was established by chief executive Gina Le Prevost in Guernsey in 1990. She had worked in the finance sector and realised that there was a niche for a high quality recruitment agency, and the business was an instant success.
The company developed and branched out into different locations and specialist divisions were created. AP Group felt that a consultant who had worked in a particular area of business was better equipped to help clients and candidates in their area of experise, rather than having generalists attempting to cover everything.
As well as AP Executive, the group now also includes AP Technical (recruitment for IT, telecommunications and electronics), and AP Personnel for temporary, contract and permanent posts junior to mid level likely to attract salaries of less than £45,000 per annum.
This article was written by a Former Executive Consultant and first published in Business Brief, Channel Islands