Jean-Luc Piazza, director in our Jersey office, discusses an alternative career in tree surgery, the 8ft fax machines of yesteryear and his admiration of Jurgen Klopp in this week's instalment of our “Get to Know the Team” interview series.
Tell us about your role:
I am a board member of Oak Group (Jersey) Limited and a client service director.
Walk us through a typical day in the office:
No day is the same – most evenings before I leave the office I write my “to do list” for the next day but as with most plans, they need to be flexible and adapt to changes in priorities.
Tell us about a recent interesting client instruction:
As well as being a client service director I am also actively involved in new business development. I am currently dealing with an individual wishing to establish a structure to purchase a large portfolio of luxury apartments in a prime central London location. Not only has he had a successful career as a hedge fund manager but has recently inherited wealth in excess of £100Million.
What is the most challenging issue your clients are facing currently, and how are you helping them overcome it?
Many of our clients are used to travelling internationally due to the various transactions that they/we are involved in. However, as they are now at home due to lockdown restrictions they are reviewing various assets and some liabilities; as a result, we now have more regular contact and I feel that we have become even closer to our clients and their family arrangements.
What is your proudest professional achievement to date?
Gaining my qualifications and becoming a director of a trust company at the “young” age of 32.
What do you consider to be the most important attributes of a good leader?
Being able to listen, understanding the various challenges we are all currently facing and not making assumptions and jumping in ‘head first’, so to speak – as a lawyer once said to me “there are always three sides to every story!”
When and how did you begin your career in financial services?
By luck back in 1983 with The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation here in Jersey – I had no idea what a Trust Company was or did but soon realised that a career in financial services was right for me.
What interests you most about your work?
It really comes down to the variety of clients, interesting and different types of assets held and getting to know the families. It is also a matter of understanding that no matter how wealthy a client may be they all have their own family issues and having the chance to work closely with a client to help them meet their goals is very rewarding.
In your opinion, how has the industry/profession changed from when you first started?
The industry has changed dramatically due to the advancement of technology. When I started at The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation we had a fax machine the size of a pool table and still had manual ledgers! How times have changed.
If you weren’t working within financial services, what else might you be doing?
That’s easy, I would be a tree surgeon.
Outside of the financial services industry, who do you admire most and why?
At the present time Jurgen Klopp!
Where was the last place you travelled for work or pleasure?
For business, it was a trip to London and for pleasure it was a visit to Porto, Portugal.
How do you relax after a long day and what do you do in your spare time?
A family get together with good food and a glass or two of wine. In my spare time I enjoy cycling and spinning (when the gym opens).
Inspirational quote/words to live by:
Family and health are the most important things to me - whatever issues you may have in your professional life!