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Why choose a career in private client?

Why choose a career in private client?

17 August, 2022

The private client team at Ocorian has over 50 years’ experience in serving the needs of private clients. By building close relationships with our private clients, we help them protect, preserve, and plan for their wealth - now and in the future. An experienced team always has advice and stories to tell, and this is no different at Ocorian. Ocorian’s Prapa Pearce, Ian Rumens, Amy Collins, and Samantha Symons share some of their reflections and advice for those considering entering the private client world and building a career.

Ian Rumens – Head of Private Clients - Jersey:

“Initially, I did not plan for a career in private client. I planned to be a shipping lawyer and by accident, I ended up working in a private client-focused law firm. When I joined the industry, I had no detailed career plan, and I knew little about private clients, and their needs.

So, if you are looking at a career in the finance industry, my advice would be to obtain a summer internship or work experience placement to gain an insight into what it involves. Go and experience different firms and different sectors, whether it is funds, corporate services, capital markets or private wealth. You spend a large proportion of your life at work, so you have got to do something that you love doing.

Try to find and absorb as much information as possible about the industry. There are plenty of employment fairs out there run by organisations such as Jersey Finance. Have conversations with family and friends about working in finance so you can make an informed decision about the options open to you.”

Prapa Pearce – Executive Director:

“Similar to Ian, I did not originally plan to enter the private client industry. I am a qualified accountant, and I was working with one of the Big Four firms, who happened to own a trust company. The company sponsored me to study while I spent five years working in the tax department.

Private client as an industry is very diverse. No two days are the same. We deal directly with clients and their families and some of them you get to know personally. But mostly we deal with their needs and the family structure and what they want to do with their trust funds.

The skill set that we bring to the table with services like accountancy and administration I think is very intellectually stimulating. I enjoy the private client world, I still enjoy it, and I am probably going to continue to enjoy it for many years to come.

Ultimately, for people who want to come into the industry, do your research like Ian said and ask a lot of questions. Have an inquiring mind and I think that will serve you very well.”

Samantha Symons – Executive Director:

“At the age of 17, after attending Highland College in Jersey, I joined the private client administration sector as a junior administrator/junior secretary with the aim of pursuing a career as a secretary.

Truthfully, at that age, I had no idea what private client administration entailed but what a journey it has been. I love the fact that each day can bring something new and there is a real pleasure in working with your clients and receiving appreciation from them for doing a good job.

Having not attended university, I worked hard while also completing all the relevant industry exams. My role has consistently progressed, and I am proud to now be one of Ocorian’s executive directors and have been recognised as one of the "Top 35 Under 35" by Private Client Practitioner 2015 and 2012 and in the Citywealth 2013 Jersey Future Leaders List.

The advice I would give to someone starting out in the industry is that anything is possible if you put your mind to it with hard work, commitment, and dedication.”

Amy Collins – Executive Director:

“I have worked in the private client industry for about 15 years.  I first started working in a large accountancy firm in the UK, assisting companies on their corporation tax liabilities, but quickly found that the conversations with the business owners and their families were much more interesting.  I loved working with families on issues which matter the most to them, whether that is their career or matters involving their spouses and their children. I find myself often dealing with personal matters and decisions which are no different to any other family.

I relocated to Jersey about eight years ago and came to work in Ocorian’s family office team.  Working in this team gave me wider insight into the lives of ultra-high net worth families, their investment strategies and the matters that mean the most to them.  I enjoy being trusted as a valuable member of their family office team, sharing my experiences, and helping them to navigate tax, succession, legal and wider governance issues.

Ocorian’s teams benefit from employees from a diverse range of backgrounds, training, and experience. My advice would be if working with families in this environment interests you then do discuss the benefits your own background and experience can bring to the team.”

Ready to join our team? Find out more about our open roles here.