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Jean-Yves Gilg

Editor, Solicitors Journal

60-second interview: Alison Parry

60-second interview: Alison Parry


There are plenty of opportunities to be exploited in the Asian and Middle Eastern fiduciary markets, Alison Parry tells PCA

There are plenty of opportunities to be exploited in the Asian and Middle Eastern fiduciary markets, Alison Parry tells PCA

What are your clients talking to you about at the moment and does anything concern you?

One of the main topics at the moment is FATCA, both US and UK; also the introduction of common reporting standards. These transparency issues are of interest and we have implemented projects to ensure we fulfil what is expected of us from the new legislation
as it is introduced.

Many clients are looking for clarity and to be able to understand what is required of them. There is an ongoing move towards disclosure and the information individuals are asked to provide has become more in depth.

How has your role changed since Butterfield's acquisition of Legis Group's trust and fiduciary services?

Many aspects of my role have not changed and I continue to work closely with clients and their advisors. Post-acquisition, one of my priorities was to complete a smooth transition into one business.

This has included ensuring staff are supported through the transition period, that clients continue to receive the attention we have always provided and that the business maintains high standards of compliance and risk oversight.

What are the immediate and long-term priorities in your role?

It has now been 12 months since the acquisition and we continue with the integration process. Our immediate area of interest was to ensure there would be no adverse effect on our clients and the service they receive from us; this very much remains front of mind.

In the long-term, we encourage our staff to take advantage of the wider group experience to broaden their knowledge of the international trust space, through our separately incorporated trust offices around the globe. Other priorities include getting out into our local market and also internationally, to promote the combined experience of our larger team here at Butterfield Trust in Guernsey, and the global services we can provide.



What key trends are you following?

In addition to our relationship management specialists, we have a team that concentrates on looking at the fiduciary market to ensure we are informed of the key trends within our industry. Using this information we continue to focus on areas where the need for structuring continues to be required as well as new growth areas. Members of our team frequently travel to the Middle East and Asia, as these are growing areas for new business enquiries. Our offices in Cayman and Bermuda also visit Latin America to build relationships in the region.

How have HMRC's aggressive anti-tax avoidance measures affected the tax planning advice you give to clients?

The services we provide do not include tax planning advice, instead we work closely with our clients' professional advisors. Due to the increased attention on this area in the media, we look to educate and highlight the attributes of the location in which we are based. Guernsey continues to meet and exceed the standards on tax transparency and exchange of information, set by the OECD, EU and UK, and the 2011 IMF report on Guernsey reinforces this.

In addition to this, Guernsey has signed over 50 tax information exchange agreements with countries around the globe. Our government and regulatory bodies on island are committed to continuing to meet the highest standards and currently hold the highest rating for information exchange with HMRC.

What's the biggest lesson you've learned during your career?

This would have to be that as you progress through your career you should treat those around you, and those that you are brought into contact with, with the same level of respect you would like to receive yourself. If you dismiss or are discourteous to those you deal with at any stage of your career, you must remember that you could encounter them at another time, and sometimes
in the most unexpected or unusual
of places!

Alison Parry is executive director of Butterfield Trust (Guernsey)