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From the canals of the Netherlands to the shores of the Channel Islands

Friday 16 December 2016
From the canals of the Netherlands to the shores of the Channel Islands

As members of Kreston International, Alex Picot and ALH van Herwijnen & Co are part of a truly global network meaning that while both firms continue to keep a local client focus, they are also able to extend their global reach.

Membership of Kreston International brings with it many advantages for clients, not least the enhanced international capabilities each company has through the sharing of knowledge and expertise with fellow members. One further opportunity that Alex Picot recently took advantage of was to tap into the network to offer a placement for an accountant to join its trust team on secondment in Jersey.

Alex Picot was delighted to welcome Linda Verweij to Jersey from the Netherlands in August 2016 for a three-month secondment. Linda came from Kreston member firm ALH van Herwijnen & co accountants in Tiel, Netherlands and brought with her over six years auditing and accounts preparation experience; and a great deal of enthusiasm.

While the chance to improve her language skills and live in a different culture first attracted Linda to the opportunity, taking up the secondment also meant gaining Jersey trust company experience offering her countless career enhancing advantages. Three months after travelling the 800 KMs to St Helier to join Alex Picot, Linda explained what the experience has been like. She said:

“I’d never heard of Jersey but I was open to an adventure and to trying new things, so I jumped at the opportunity to progress professionally and personally by working at Alex Picot. There is a clear difference between the work I was doing back home to the work I’ve been involved in here, but it’s the same basic principles so I have been able to learn as I’ve gone along working on the preparation of accounts for the trust department.

“Everyone at Alex Picot was very welcoming to me and I felt a part of the team straightaway. There’s always something going on, from watching colleagues run the Jersey marathon, to enjoying Guy Fawkes Night and many after work socials. 

“There hasn’t been one main highlight, I’ve just enjoyed the whole package from experiencing life in a different culture, to exploring and learning about Jersey.  It’s opened up a wider view for me and personally I have really enjoyed the time I have spent so far in Jersey and at Alex Picot.”

Linda’s time with the Jersey trust company team has been so successful that her secondment has been extended for a further three months seeing her join the Chartered Accountant’s practice in January 2017.

Chris Cotillard, Director of Alex Picot Trust, said: “Linda has been a real asset to the team during her time with us and we are really grateful for her contribution, and it’s fantastic we have been able to extend her stay with us for a further three months. Kreston International membership offers us many benefits and the secondment opportunity has been seamless in enabling us to bring someone into our team who had sound experience and was able to help us out during a particularly busy period. Welcoming Linda on secondment was a true example of the effectiveness of the Kreston network.”

Don Connolly, Partner of Alex Picot Chartered Accountants, said: “When Linda joins us in January she will take on the responsibility for a number of the audits we conduct, including auditing investment structures, local trading businesses and financial services businesses.  She will also be responsible for assisting and reviewing the work of trainee accountants in the department, so hopefully a varied and interesting role for her to continue her secondment with us.”

Antonie Berends, of van ALH van Herwijnen & co accountants, said: “We are a mid-sized financial advisory firm in the middle of The Netherlands with about 40 employees. Since December 2013, we have been a Kreston member and have a good spin off in enlarging our international services to our clients. The Kreston network gives not only opportunities to us and our clients but also to our employees.

“I met Don at the conference in Dublin in 2014 and since then we kept in touch. Later I met Chris also and finally there was a chance for a secondment to Jersey. We are delighted that we can develop the skills of our employee Linda through her time in Jersey. She is also a good example for our other employees to enlarge skills and look over the personal borders of exploring English, other cultures and people. As in these days it is important to develop as accountant also soft skills as communication and personal attention in our clients. The secondment of Linda is a great example for working together in staffing for Kreston International.”