An Interview with Derek Rhodes of Alex Picot Trust Company

Alex Picot Trust Company is an independent Jersey trust company, specialising in offshore family trusts. It is 100% privately owned, director-lead and boasts a loyal staff with an average service among its senior team of 24 years.

Derek Rhodes qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PWC before joining Alex Picot, the accountancy practice, as Audit Manager in 1992.

Today, Derek is one of three directors leading Alex Picot Trust Company.

Tell us about your role as a Jersey trustee?

Dealing with individual private clients rather than corporations, means getting to know the families at a very personal level. As a Trustee I can be involved in various matters requiring a deep understanding of the family dynamics and a mutual trust that is only built-up over time.

I hope that clients see me as a long-term trusted voice within the family, guiding them and providing support. It's a privileged role and one that can be very challenging, but thoroughly enjoyable.

Who are your clients?

Alex Picot Trust was born out of a long-standing Jersey accountancy firm and so naturally we have a portfolio of local clients. Many we have worked with over a number of generations, including one family that has been with us for 80 years.

We also provide offshore services to clients around the world specifically the U.K. and Africa where our marketing has been focussed.

A growth area in recent years has been U.K. non-doms and high-net-worth individuals who have moved to Jersey, which due to political uncertainty in the UK is becoming more popular.

What makes APTC different from other trust companies?

We are 100% privately owned, ultimately we aren't answerable to private equity shareholders or the stock market.

As such, we are able to make decisions that are in the best interests of the client rather than our own cash-flow. We remain committed to putting the long-term view ahead of anything else for our private clients and family offices.

Why do clients come to you?

Most of our new clients over the last 5 years have become dissatisfied with their current trust company service providers and transferred their existing trusts to Alex Picot Trust Company.

The reasons for this are firstly, that we have been offering trust services in Jersey longer than any other and that gives people confidence that we are not a "fly-by-night operation" and secondly, we continue to provide the partner-led service that many private clients had when they first came to Jersey and many feel that they no longer receive.

Most of our clients are gained through referral from existing clients and the long-term relationships we have with local lawyers and investment managers.

Our Directors are genuinely "hands-on" with each client and this makes sure that our service really is specific to their individual requirements - generally we get things done quicker and many say better!

What is the greatest change you've seen in offshore trust services?

Private clients have been facing significantly more red tape and larger charges, which leads many to review the cost effectiveness of the whole structure and their trust company providers.

The red-tape has come about due to increased regulatory obligations (including FATCA, CRS, EU Money Laundering Directives) and continuous changes to the taxation systems around the world.

What does the future look like for APTC?

We will always see ourselves as the Jersey trust company for Jersey people, but with growth in mind we have a clear objective to explore new regions.

My fellow director Chris Cotillard is currently looking at opportunities in the Middle East and I'll be supporting him in this.

Why did you decide to join PCD Club?

Always keen to build our networks and the PCD Club was an excellent facility to meet other professionals in the private client arena.

I enjoy the informal events and the opportunity to meet like-minded professionals in new locations is invaluable.

At the weekend you're most likely to be found...

The attraction of Jersey for me was the promise of leaving the office and being on the beach or golf course with plenty of time to enjoy it.

Most evenings and weekends are spent either on the tennis court or the golf course, or getting off the rock for a bit of water skiing in one of the bays around Jersey.

The lifestyle benefits of living and working in Jersey are real and it is this element that continually attracts HNWIs to choose Jersey as their base.

Over the coming years we expect more to enquire about moving from the U.K. to Jersey and I'll be vouching for the huge advantages Jersey offers to those keen to secure a good work / life balance.

Alex Picot Trust Company Ltd is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission to conduct trust company business



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