INTERVIEW: Steve Gully, director and award winner

A supplement celebrating the inaugural WealthBriefing Channel Islands Awards has featured an interview with our director, Steve Gully.

As winner of the ‘Leading Trust Professional’ category, Steve talked about his role as a Jersey trustee and the ethos of Alex Picot Trust which differentiates us.

His interview was published in awards supplement ACCLAIM Acclaim was produced by Clearview Financial Media, publisher of WealthBriefing and awards organiser.

To see the full publication please CLICK HERE.

Q: How do awards such as this make a difference to your firm and your colleagues?

Steve said:

People work harder in the post Covid world, with many of those hours often unseen by fellow colleagues.

Recognition for an individual is due to the support provided from their firm and colleagues especially in a highly competitive, award winning and tightly regulated jurisdiction such as Jersey.

Recognition for Alex Picot Trust through awards by credible bodies such as WealthBriefing are extremely important and are a validation of the approach taken by us as a firm and individually.

To be named in the inaugural Wealth Briefing awards is hugely appreciated by our team.

Our approach and style differentiates us in our sector, receiving recognition for this positioning instils a sense of shared pride among our team and continues to fuel their passion and enthusiasm.

For clients, they view awards and accolades as positive reinforcement of the solid reputation that we garner in the offshore private client sphere and gives them comfort that the strength of our individuals and their professionalism is applauded by our peers.

Q: Where in the world do you operate – are you mainly a domestic player or international?

Steve said:

Alex Picot Trust has its entire operation based in Jersey and it’s our intention to continue with this approach for the future. 

The firm’s heritage dates back to 1885 and its first record of trust services commenced in 1932.  And the family associated with that work remains a client of the firm today!

The more acute of those reading this will be aware that back then, Jersey had not yet embarked on its journey to becoming an IFC.  As Jersey became a location for offshore trustee work the Alex Picot business was well placed to expand its offering into the international space.

Today, the business provides services to international and Jersey based clients.

The ability for Jersey based clients to drop in and see us at any time ensures we always need to be prepared and available for our clients and this mindset has translated exceptionally well how we serve our international client base.

Q: What position would you like your firm to hold in its sector in five years’ time?

Steve said:

We are immensely passionate about our business and strive to be regarded as Jersey’s best Private Client Trust Company.

Why is this important to us?

Firstly, it’s important to define what best means.  By best we want Alex Picot Trust to be the name people think of when they consider which private client trust company that they want to be working for. We are clear though that this means more than just regarded as an employer of choice in the industry.

We want to be a name that advisors, intermediaries and existing clients think of when recommending a trust company; particularly if dissatisfied with their existing trustee and looking for a change of service provider.

It is also important to be clear about what metrics are not relevant to this definition.  This is not measurable by being the biggest, most profitable, fastest growing firm or by targeting low debtor day numbers or focusing on achieving high margins etc etc.  

Our wish to be recognised as ‘best in class’ is underpinned by the strategy of achieving strong organic growth of new clients and new people to look after them.  We see continued steady growth as a key requirement for continued success and the ability through this growth to ensure we offer career development opportunities at Alex Picot Trust.

Many new clients have transferred to us from firms that lack the personal touch, we see this as evidence that our commitment to independence where our ownership remains with Jersey resident, directors and former director is keeping our focus client-centric.  

Q: Please explain what you think makes your firm successful in its chosen field.

Steve said:

Put simply it is the personalities we have within the business and that each of us is genuine in how we work and operate.

We truly support one another as a leadership team and expect all colleagues to do likewise.

As an owner managed business and one that operates from a single jurisdiction this gives us the ability to be nimble and slick in how we operate and with our decision making, and this feature is one that we use as frequently as possible. 

We are able to make quick and informed judgements about potential new hires into the business.  We also take a swift approach in determining if a new client opportunity fits within our parameters and we are able to provide indicative terms in a rapid manner.

The owners of the business are those running the business. That is a key differentiator.

People want to work with us because we are able to deliver on promises and ensure that we do not let our clients down. We do this by having great people and operating in an efficient fashion, and those operational efficiencies result in cost savings for our clients, not increased profit margins for the business.  

As a result, we have a great culture in the firm and that ensures we continue to attract good people to join the firm as it grows. 

It is down to us as owners and controllers of the business to work hard to ensure the culture of the firm stays this way.

And the best bit about this. We love what we do at Alex Picot Trust!