From his proudest achievement to the most challenging issue clients are facing today, Paul Schreibke, managing director of Oak Trust (Guernsey) shares his insights in the last of our interview series.
Tell us about your role
I am the Managing Director of Oak Trust (Guernsey) Limited and also oversee the entire Guernsey business.
Walk us through a typical day in the office
There is not necessarily a typical day in the office but it would probably incorporate financial matters – debtors, billing, staff matters and business development, and I normally sit on the daily client committee which approves all decisions in order to ensure good Corporate Governance
Tell us about a recent interesting client instruction
Unfortunately the most interesting instructions tend to be the ones we turn down, whether that be PEP’s in certain jurisdictions or joint ventures with state owned bodies. We rightly have a conservative attitude to the take on of new business as our reputation is paramount.
What is the most challenging issue your clients are facing currently, and how are you helping them overcome it?
The most challenging situation at present revolves around the COVID-19 pandemic and in particular for those clients in the hospitality and tourism sectors and for landlords of retail premises. There are no easy answers but it is vital that we remain close to our clients and communicate and support them as much as possible. At the same time for other clients there are potential buying opportunities.
What is your proudest professional achievement to date?
We still have work to do but the building of a team which I hope will be recognised as a market leader in client service and excellence.
What do you consider to be the most important attributes of a good leader?
A leader is only as good as his team, so the most important thing in my view is to recruit and train well and then empower the team accordingly.
When and how did you begin your career in financial services?
Having trained as a Chartered Tax Advisor in London , I moved to Guernsey in 1991 on a three year contract but that has morphed into a permanent stay.
What interests you most about your work?
The variety interests me most and the opportunity to make a difference for our employees and clients. We have a strong vision for the future but need to make it happen.
In your opinion, how has the industry/profession changed from when you first started?
The two most obvious changes are the vast increases in compliance and reporting requirements and the ever increasing use of technology. In addition there has been a significant change in the use of structures which in the past were often tax driven but now are generally tax neutral.
If you weren’t working within financial services, what else might you be doing?
I always wanted to be a pilot but failed the colour blindness tests!
Outside of the financial services industry, who do you admire most and why?
Probably Nelson Mandela as he had the ability to show true leadership even in times of adversity - carried his people with him, had a long term vision and always acted with integrity.
Where was the last place you travelled for work or pleasure?
Work wise the week before lockdown to London to discuss our PI renewal. Pleasure wise – we have a place in Spain which I visited last summer.
How do you relax after a long day and what do you do in your spare time?
We have just acquired a new house which has been gutted; so checking on progress of the works and doing the gardening there is taking up most of my spare time. The rest is spent walking our dog and sadly following the demise of Huddersfield Town.
Inspirational quote/words to live by
I’m not sure if it is inspirational but treat others as you would wish to be treated by them and always look to act with integrity – do the right thing not necessarily the thing you want to do.