Beyond the Bio - Abbas Somji

What was your career ambition when you were growing up?

My career ambitions changed many times! Until age 8, I had my heart set on being an astronaut, then all I wanted to do was play or coach football (soccer). It was only midway into high school when I thought of an alternative career! I always thought of myself going into corporate finance – that was the goal until I interned at a wealth management firm in my 3rd year of university in Houston. After that, I never wanted to do anything else.

Abbas Somji

What brought you to the UK?

Many things! Actually, I was born in the UK, but after spending time in Tanzania and Florida, I spent most of my childhood in Botswana where I went to British schools. When I was a football-mad teenager, we moved to Texas where I finished high school and university and started my career. But I always felt a cultural pull to the UK and thought I would someday live here.  I met my wife in 2015 who was based in London. So it seemed the perfect reason and time to make the move.

What do you miss most about the US?

My family. I have a niece and three nephews who I am incredibly close to. I speak/FaceTime with them every few days and I miss them immensely. My mum, siblings, granny and I are very close so being far away from them is the toughest part.

What is your favourite experience since being in the UK?

Getting married was pretty special! I love what I do and the people I work with, so that has been very special as well. Besides these highlights, my favourite experience is going to Liverpool games. I’ve been a massive fan since I was 5, it’s pretty much a family tradition. Getting to go to games is very special, especially this season!

NFL or Premiership OR Cricket or Baseball?

Premier league – all day, every day! I do enjoy NFL, but it’s mainly for Fantasy Football purposes.

What is the biggest challenge being an American living in the UK?

I can’t seem to find any good Tex Mex around, or enough ice in summer months! On a serious note though, there are a few things. It has been complicated filing my US/UK tax returns. I thankfully work with an accountant, and knew to immediately do so given my profession, but it is still challenging. Having to restart my credit history has been painful, especially doing so through a credit card that earns virtually no points and has limited benefits.

What is it you most enjoy about helping Anglo-American households?

Everything seems doom and gloom, like there is no way out from the complications. I love being able to help clients through the complexities and show them that things do not necessarily have to be so negative. Things can be figured out, and I can help make their lives easier while also providing them with clarity on their goals & objectives and the best way forward to achieving them.

How is the pandemic affecting your work and the clients you serve?

I feel fortunate that the pandemic has not disrupted my ability to work and serve our clients. We made the transition to remote working fairly seamlessly as we had all the tools in place. Naturally, there are challenges that come with such a sudden transition, but I have been impressed with how our clients and everyone at Tanager has adjusted.

In fact, since the pandemic started, I have never been busier. Clients are understandably concerned about how the pandemic could impact their savings and investments. At the same time, many clients have been re-evaluating their goals and life circumstances with a greater focus on what they really want for the future.

Throughout this period, it has been fascinating to see how everyone’s challenges are different. I speak to clients on a daily basis and would say the most common challenge that we all face is the separation of work and personal life. Everyone is working more. Your home space is your workspace. I think finding a balance will be the biggest challenge for us all as a remote working lifestyle becomes a reality post pandemic.

Tell me about someone who has inspired you and why?

I am inspired by my family. My wife, mum, granny, siblings, nieces and nephews are a constant driving force for me. I am driven to do the best I can and be the best I can be by them. They’re always there to tell me when I’m wrong and encourage me to do my best. My wife, Hana, in particular – she puts up with me on a daily basis! She is always there to keep me focussed and support me in my sometimes crazy ideas/goals.

A special mention for mum though. Growing up was tough. My mum was solely responsible for my siblings and me from a young age, and to see her build a successful business and raise the three of us during those tough times has inspired me. I hope I always have her drive, motivation and work ethic – she’s set the bar for us and none of us want to go below it.

What’s the last book you read?

Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps that Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics by Tim Marshall. It was recommended by a colleague, and I highly recommend it as well.

Beatles or Beach Boys?

Controversial, but neither! I do like music, but I couldn’t tell you much about popular artists or bands.

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Abbas Somji

Abbas Somji

PARTNER AND FINANCIAL ADVISOR

Abbas moved to London in early 2018 to be with his British wife. Born in the United Kingdom and raised in Botswana, Abbas then migrated to Houston where he attended University. He began his professional career at an RIA in Houston and holds the Series 65 license and US CFP® . He brings with him a decade of experience in advising High-Net-Worth clients and business owners. Abbas is a Partner and Advisor and ensures he’s helping clients navigate the complicated world of being an expat in the UK. He particularly enjoys providing clients with the clarity and confidence to pursue their financial goals. A sports enthusiast, Abbas enjoys conversing about and playing soccer/football and attending Liverpool matches.

Read more… Abbas Somji, Beyond the Bio

 

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Alistair Jackson

FINANCIAL ADVISOR

Alistair joined the team at Tanager in 2019 following his completion of an MPhil in English at the University of Cambridge as a John Crook Scholar. With three years of experience working across our Investment and Financial Planning teams, Alistair transitioned to the Advisor Team in January 2022. His time is now focused on the production and implementation of robust planning and investment strategies for our clients on either side of the Atlantic. Outside of the office, Alistair’s time is divided between exploring East London’s many food markets, spending time with friends and family, and travelling abroad.

 

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David Costello

PARTNER AND FINANCIAL ADVISOR

David arrived in the UK on New Year’s Day 2014 and brought with him fifteen years’ experience advising private clients and business owners. He attained the U.S. Certified Financial Planner designation in 2007. David specialises in building financial plans for UK based households that include US taxpayers and is tirelessly committed to helping Tanager clients maximise their wealth and achieve their stated goals and objectives while navigating the US/UK tax and investment landscape. David is a Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma survivor and is active in volunteering and fund raising for the support toward the treatment and eradication of blood cancers.

Read more… David Costello, Beyond the Bio

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Gail Hamilton King

Gail Hamilton- King

FINANCIAL ADVISOR

Gail joined Tanager in 2021 as a financial advisor with more than fifteen years of experience in senior investment banking and management consulting roles at Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank. She enjoys leveraging her financial experience to make a tangible difference for Americans living in the UK by helping to manage their complex finances globally. Gail moved to the UK from Chicago to complete an MBA at London Business School. As a dual UK/US family living in west London, she understands the challenges our clients face.

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Jeff Hedges

SENIOR PARTNER AND FINANCIAL ADVISOR

Jeff is a founding Partner of the firm and serves as a Senior Financial Advisor. For the past twenty years, he has managed the investment needs of high-net-worth US families living in the United Kingdom. Combining cross border know-how with an extensive international network, Jeff delivers robust solutions for his clients. He graduated from Colgate University and from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, where he met his wife. Jeff spent a year at Charterhouse in high school. Jeff has three grown sons and a daughter. He is a history buff, avid footie supporter and likes to spend his holidays in eastern North Carolina.

 Read more… Jeff Hedges, Beyond the Bio

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Jeremy Bailey

SENIOR FINANCIAL ADVISOR

Jeremy joined the Tanager team in 2019 bringing fifteen years of experience in helping clients align their finances with what is most important to them. He specialises in retirement income strategies and multigenerational planning. Jeremy decided to leverage his US/UK dual citizenship status to relocate to London in 2017. He quickly identified the breadth of financial challenges faced by Americans and US connected families living and working abroad. Jeremy comes to London via Cleveland Ohio and Miami Florida. In his free time, he enjoys running the Thames path, spending time outdoors, and travelling.

 

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Kristopher Heck

MANAGING PARTNER

Kristopher has lived in London since 2007 and combined his ten plus years of experience in the Institutional Asset Management Industry in the US and Europe and personal experiences as an expat to found Tanager. A founding partner and Chief Investment Officer, Kris has been a guest lecturer at the London School of Economics and has particular interest and experience in portfolio efficiency – encompassing tax, cost, and the optimal risk budgeting of a client’s assets. Kristopher is as avid fan of the Baltimore Orioles and enjoys going back to Maryland whenever he is able to.

 

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Kyle Pettigrove

PARTNER AND FINANCIAL ADVISOR

Kyle is a Certified Financial Planner ™ (CFP ®) and joined Tanager in London in 2016 having moved to the UK with his fiancée. A US/UK dual citizen and Philadelphia native, Kyle previously worked as a financial advisor in the US specializing in retirement planning. Now spearheading Tanager’s stateside office in Philadelphia, Kyle brings both relevant personal and professional experience to his role and covers the areas of pensions for US residents, British expats and transatlantic families living in the US. Outside of his work life, Kyle is an avid traveller and craft beer enthusiast.

Read more… Kyle Pettigrove, Beyond the Bio

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Nicole Ralph

Nicole Ralph

SENIOR FINANCIAL ADVISOR

Nicole joined the Tanager team in 2020 and brings over fifteen years of senior leadership and client experience in helping US expats and foreign nationals relocating to the US. Nicole has held the CFP® designation since 2011 and earned an MBA from the Wisconsin School of Business in 2016. As a dual US/UK citizen herself, she is intimately aware of the complex challenges facing families, having moved back and forth three times with her own family. She now lives in Hove with her husband and youngest daughter. In her free time, she enjoys walking her dog along the seafront, hot yoga, learning Italian and travelling.

Read more… Nicole Ralph, Beyond the Bio

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Patrick Mulhern

PARTNER AND FINANCIAL ADVISOR

Born and raised in New Hampshire, Patrick moved to Scotland at seventeen to study at the University of St. Andrews and has been picking up knowledge of life on both sides of the Atlantic ever since. A Partner and Financial Advisor, he specializes in complex planning for high-net-worth clients, international estate planning and inheritance issues. Prior to working in Financial Planning, he worked for a trust and estate law firm and co-wrote the book Estate Planning to Die For. Patrick lives in Sussex with his wife and children. He gets back to New England as often as possible and is one mountain short of having hiked all 4,000 Footers of the White Mountains.

Read more… Patrick Mulhern, Beyond the Bio

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Susan Blaylock

FINANCIAL ADVISOR

Susan joined Tanager in 2019 upon moving to London. She is a Financial Advisor and has over a decade of experience in the financial services industry, mainly as a CPA. What she loves about financial planning is the opportunity to help people understand and achieve the financial goals that are most important to them. She enjoys the challenge of working with the complex situations of US expats. Susan shares Tanager’s philosophy of developing strong relationships with clients and gaining a deep understanding of their financial situations and life goals. Outside of work, Susan enjoys exploring, including hiking in the Alps, canyoning, kayaking London’s canals, cycling, and spending time with friends and family.

Read more… Susan Blaylock, Beyond the Bio

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Tori Bown

FINANCIAL ADVISOR

Tori joined Tanager in May of 2022 after moving to London in late 2021 to join her English Husband. Prior to joining Tanager, Tori worked in Dallas, Texas for a large wealth management firm for over five years where she specialized in financial planning for high net worth clients. As a Certified Financial Planner ™ , she’s developed a holistic approach to wealth management that incorporates all aspects of a person’s financial life. Tori enjoys helping clients define and achieve their financial goals by enabling them to put context around their finances.

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