Internationally renowned trust practitioner joins AP Executive’s Geneva office
AP Executive, a multi-award winning global executive search firm, is proud to welcome Robin McGhee, an internationally renowned trust practitioner, as the new Executive Consultant in Geneva. His addition strengthens the firm’s ability to deliver highly-specialised and superior quality professional services and better serve the needs of the financial services sector in Switzerland and globally.
In his new role, Robin will be responsible for the recruitment of mid-to-senior level management professionals in the finance and wealth management sector, particularly in asset management, private banking and trusts in Geneva and Switzerland in general.
Gina Le Prevost, CEO and Founder of AP Executive, commented: “I am very pleased to welcome Robin, who is an experienced professional with senior level management background, to the AP Executive team and to our clients in Switzerland. I look forward to working with Robin on building our relationship with our existing clients but also enhancing the presence of our AP Executive brand locally as well as internationally. I am sure Robin will become a trusted partner to both our clients and candidates in Switzerland having a breadth of experience in the trust business for a number of years.”
A seasoned trust practitioner and accomplished international academician, Robin McGhee has over 36 year history of work in the field of trusts and estates. He joined AP Executive after serving in various senior level positions in blue-chip, multinational organisations, as well as academia. He brings extensive experience managing and developing trust business in Switzerland, the Isle of Man and the Cayman Islands. Most recently, he was the Deputy CEO of HSBC’s trust business in Switzerland, where he worked for nearly 15 years. Previously a Board Member of STEP Worldwide, he currently serves on STEP’s Central Education Committee.
A leading figure in international trust education and former Chief Examiner of a major offshore qualification, Robin has been actively involved in the STEP/CLT Diploma programme since its inception, as well as lectured and written course materials. He is the author of several text books on offshore trust law and offshore company administration, and is active in professional bodies including STEP.
Robin commented: “After my office closed I could have taken another senior position with a trust company but I decided now was the best time to do those things I've always wanted to do. As John Lennon wrote 'Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans' so I decided to take the jump and devote more time to what I really love doing such as lecturing, writing and coaching cricket and finally achieving a long term ambition to work as an employment consultant in global wealth management recruitment. AP Executive was the obvious choice to experience this ambition”
Robin’s outstanding credentials as a trust practitioner and thorough understanding of the financial services sector make him a trusted recruitment partner and Executive Consultant. As part of the ongoing growth strategy, AP Executive is committed to hiring quality experienced and specialist professionals to strengthen the core team, whilst developing the brand’s global footprint.
AP Executive once again named International Recruitment Specialist Firm of the Year for Switzerland
AP Executive, a world-leading executive search firm, is delighted to announce that it has been named as “the International Recruitment Specialist Firm of the Year in Switzerland” by Corporate Intl, a reputed international business publication for financial and legal advisers and business leaders. Recognised for the second time in three years, the award reflects the firm’s commitment to delivering exceptional recruitment and executive search services in one of the world’s leading offshore financial centres, Switzerland and internationally.
An independent awards panel announced the winners after a rigorous selection process that focussed on the most active and experienced firms that have demonstrated excellence in their area of expertise over the past 12 months.
Gina Le Prevost, CEO and Founder of AP Executive, said: “I am thrilled that for the second time AP Executive is the International Recruitment Specialist Firm of the Year in Switzerland. This award is a testimony of our commitment to our valued clients and candidates and that we aim to be the first and only choice in executive search and recruitment services in Switzerland and globally. Our vision and mission for the future is to continue to provide superior service and be the trusted partner for our clients and their operations in Switzerland, where the economy is a hub of financial services and it is the perfect base for quality local and global candidates. I also want to give special thanks to our great team globally for their hard work and commitment and for their professionalism and quality service to both our clients and candidates”.
AP Executive has been servicing the financial services sector in Switzerland for more than 12 years, offering assistance with overseas recruitment of mid to senior level candidates in wealth management, private banking, trust and fund, accountancy, family office and legal sectors. As a recruitment partner of choice, the firm boasts an in-depth and specialised knowledge of the local market and culture as well as an extensive network of top professionals and blue-chip clients across Switzerland's major cities and globally.
With 25 years of industry experience, AP Executive has emerged as a global leader in wealth management recruitment, and expanded from Guernsey to Jersey, Nicosia, Limassol, London, Luxembourg, Geneva, Zurich and Singapore.
As the first data exchange under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) is due soon, financial institutions need to respond to the increased reporting pressures, whilst complying with the set parameters. Based on the USA’s tax law Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) is the product of a global initiative involving 51 jurisdictions to facilitate efficient information exchange between jurisdictions and check tax avoidance.
Here is some advice on how the CRS can be turned into a “business opportunity” instead of an “administrative nightmare”, as it is widely perceived to be.
The Common Reporting Standard (CRS) is nearly upon us, and, quite surprisingly, it is approaching not with a bang, but a whimper. Whereas FATCA and EUSD were shouted from the rooftops, CRS seems to be creeping up with hardly a peep.
These initiatives involve governments obtaining information from their financial institutions and exchanging data automatically with other nations. Financial institutions (and other investment entities) will have significant additional reporting responsibilities, in order to disclose details of their account holders, with potential penalties for those unable or unwilling to comply fully.
Financial reporting will include all income and capital revenues, account balances, portfolio values etc, but whatever information is gathered, its impact is all dependent on the residency, or tax residency, of the individual(s) concerned.
To many Trust Directors, the ever increasing reporting requirements might seem like an additional chargeable administration that eats into WIP and bottom line figures; an additional support service such as compliance that reduces profit margins.
Perhaps though, this is not the way to view things. Depending on whether your glass is half full or half empty, this represents an opportunity to be pro active with your HNW clients.
Whilst many go about their annual review process as a tick box exercise to make sure due diligence and the like is in place, there is now an opportunity to re-assess your clients’ tax situation, and approach them to review their structures and their suitability for purpose. Could you streamline the whole administrative process for your biggest UHNW client? Could you win additional business from them as a result of your greater understanding of reporting requirements? Could you win business through referrals as a result of your pro-activeness?
With the correct guidance, the implementation of CRS could prove to be the biggest business development opportunity that has ever presented itself in many years.
At AP Executive, I am working with candidates having an in-depth subject matter expertise in the CRS and are well-equipped to deliver exceptional tax reporting service to clients.
*This article was written by Kieron Lambert, former Executive Consultant.
AP Group, the parent company of AP Executive, celebrates its 25th year anniversary
An international specialist finance, banking and legal recruitment firm AP Executive is a division of AP Group which opened in 1990 and is celebrating its 25th year anniversary this month. Since its inception as a recruitment provider to financial service organisations in Guernsey, AP Executive has emerged as a leader in its field and expanded from Guernsey to Jersey, Nicosia, Limassol, London, Geneva, Zurich and Singapore, with a Cayman office to be opened in September.
The vision of the company was conceived by founder and CEO, Gina Le Prevost, a professionally qualified and experienced recruitment specialist.
Gina Le Prevost said: “Reaching this massive milestone of 25 years hasn’t been without a lot of laughter but also with many tears too along the way. For AP Group to still be operational is truly a major achievement by AP Group’s directors and staff and for that I thank them for their loyal support, hard work and having had their wits about them during the difficult economic downturn.”
Besides AP Executive, AP Group has three other divisions, namely AP GlobalEnergy (appointments in oil and gas sector), AP Personnel (junior to mid-level appointment in finance and commercial) and AP Technical (IT/Communication appointments), each providing specialist recruitment service to clients and job seekers.
With an international reputation for its efficient, friendly and reliable recruitment services to both candidates and companies across the globe, AP Executive is the only truly ‘global’ recruitment firm to have been organically grown in the Channel Islands. It is also a member of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), reflecting its commitment to high professional and ethical standards.
However, the journey over 25 years, as Gina admits, has not always been a smooth one.
“Particularly since 2008 the recruitment industry has seriously been at the coal face of major job losses caused by the worst global recession in 100 years. The recruitment industry worldwide, along with many other industries, has battled through and suffered real hardship and pain, and difficult management decisions and job losses were made in order to survive”.
Nevertheless, Gina admits that it has been a “challenging experience and a steep business learning curve”, and with the hard work put in by all the employees, and the “economic conditions improving in more jurisdictions”, AP Group is seeing job market growth once again.
AP Executive has a strong global network of top professionals and reputed companies, and offers assistance with overseas recruitment of mid to senior level candidates in wealth management, trust, family office, funds and asset management, accountancy and legal sectors. The firm boasts of a team of highly dedicated and specialised recruitment consultants, and has an impressive track record of placing candidates at all levels of finance. They deal with more than 55 jurisdictions across the world.
Looking ahead to the future, Gina said: “I hope AP Group will continue to grow and our staff will continue to enjoy their work well into the next 25 years.”
She concludes: “I have exciting plans for AP Group’s future which we hope to implement in the not too distant future. I am as enthusiastic for AP Group’s success as I was 25 years ago when the first office officially opened in Guernsey on 1 July 1990. The beauty of business is that it doesn’t stand still, and with current social media affecting the way we think and the change in retirement laws, the recruitment world is still very exciting.”
Over the 25 years, AP Group and its specialist divisions have provided bespoke recruitment service to some of the leading international companies, and helped a number of high calibre candidates achieve their career goals.
AP Executive concerned over shortage of experienced trust and fund administrators
While economies across the globe are slowly limping back from the massive credit crunch, the effects of recession, however, are still haunting some sectors such as trusts and funds. A leading recruitment consultancy AP Group has expressed concern over the shortage of experienced administrators in the trust and fund sectors. This shortage is a direct result of the recession that hit the global economy in 2008.
AP Executive and AP Personnel, divisions of AP Group, have many years of experience in recruiting professionals in the wealth management and commercial sectors.
Gina Le Prevost, CEO of AP Executive and AP Personnel, said: "Due to the lack of recruitment in trust and funds industries to employ and invest in junior staff caused by the downturn in 2008, this has now caused a shortage of experienced administrators. Since early 2015, we are noticing a recruitment upturn in the Channel Islands and other global locations which specialise in trust and fund professionals. However, companies specialising in these popular sectors are now struggling to find candidates qualified with the important 3 to 5 years' level of experience."
This is one such area where the global economic crisis has had a lingering effect. To cap the costs, most organisations, during the economic crisis, abstained from recruiting graduates and junior to mid-level administrators. This in turn has made it difficult for employers to find suitable candidates with the requisite level of skills and knowledge base. Had there been recruitment of junior staff since 2008, they would now be qualified to take on the role of experienced administrators – which are in high demand at the moment.
The current 3 to 5 years experience requirement means the candidates should normally also hold the professional qualifications like STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) and/or ICSA (Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators).
It takes up to three years to complete these types of qualifications. To fill this acute shortage, employers may have to consider candidates who do not hold work permit or local qualifications for these jobs but meet the required professional qualification and length of experience criteria.
Gina Le Prevost continued: "Companies need support by the Guernsey and Jersey respective authorities to be able to employ non- locally qualified candidates if necessary, and strict work permits policies, which have been in place for so long now, should be more relaxed."
She concluded: "Without companies being given more leeway with bringing in non-locals and if the numbers of jobs in specialist areas continue to increase in the islands, it is inevitable that salaries will need to rise in these industries. In fact, job seekers moving to the islands because of work offers would also improve the Guernsey and Jersey sluggish housing markets, which both islands are currently experiencing." However, for employees it is an encouraging trend as the job market is becoming more buoyant particularly in wealth management industries.
She said: "We are now in an ‘employees’ job market which is going to become a ‘fast track in gaining experience and professional qualifications’ for job seekers looking to get into funds and trust."
Funds lawyers at Mourant Ozannes rated as “world leading”
Several lawyers from Mourant Ozannes have been included in the '2010 Expert Guide to the World's Leading Investment Funds Lawyers', published this month by the Legal Media Group.
Mourant Ozannes partners from the Cayman Islands, Guernsey and Jersey have been selected, emphasising the firm's strength in depth and industry knowledge in key international finance centres.
To be rated as "world leading", Mourant Ozannes' funds lawyers were nominated by clients and leading industry figures based on their work and reputation, followed by a review from a panel of impartial experts in legal centres worldwide.
The "world's leading" list includes Mourant Ozannes partners Neal Lomax (Cayman); Gavin Farrell, Peter Harwood, Paul Christopher, David Moore (Guernsey); and Edward Devenport, Ben Robins and Jacqueline Richomme (Jersey).
The Legal Media Group have been publishing international guides to individual lawyers in specific practice areas and jurisdictions for over 15 years, with a new edition of each Guide being published every two years.
Jonathan Rigby, Group Managing Partner at Mourant Ozannes, said: "We are delighted that our funds partners from across the firm have been recognised in this way. We strive to be consistently recognised as the leading law firm offshore and for our funds lawyers to be rated as world leading is a fantastic achievement."
On 1 June 2010 Mourant du Feu & Jeune and Ozannes, two of the leading law firms offshore, merged to create Mourant Ozannes. Mourant Ozannes draws on the heritage of two market leaders and has approximately 200 fee-earners and 50 partners practising from offices in the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Jersey and London.