What was your career ambition when you were growing up?
After realising I would not play rugby union for England I genuinely had no idea what I was going to do when I grew up. It is why I now mentor graduates who struggle to place themselves in the working world.
What inspired you to work at Tanager?
Good question. Starting a new business has been a challenge. Inspiration comes in many forms, however I am mostly inspired by working with our growing team of committed professionals who are focussed on our goal of helping British American households overcome the challenges of investing for their future across two tax and investment jurisdictions.
What is your favourite thing about working in London?
Aside from a brief interlude in NYC I have always worked in London. I have to pinch myself sometimes as I walk to the office past St Pauls and think how much I take for granted coming to this city every day. It is so culturally diverse, full of history and constantly evolving.
Wimbledon or the Premiership?
What is it you most enjoy about helping transatlantic households?
Over the last decade it has become clear from feedback from advisors and clients that there are two things about Tanager’s service that clients appreciate: first, the peace of mind that comes with knowing that they have resolved a complicated tax and investment issue; second, the knowledge that they can rely on the team at Tanager to understand and find solutions for their unique financial requirements.
The enjoyment comes from working with a great team who are constantly striving to help our clients.
How has the legacy of the pandemic affected your work and the clients you serve?
The pandemic already feels like a distant memory and was recently declared “over” by WHO (although anecdotally it feels like someone you know has Covid) and is clearly no longer the threat to the health of the wider population it was in 2020/21.
Personally, the pandemic magnified a lot of issues: how education works, the impact of commuting on the environment, the value of being in close proximity with other human beings, for example. From a business perspective being able to sit in in (often impromptu) meetings with colleagues and professional contacts is far better than dialling in to a video call. That being said, more attention is now rightly paid to work life balance and mental wellbeing which is definitely a change for the better.
In respect of work and Tanager’s clients, we experienced a large growth in our business through the pandemic and the following year (2020-2022). One legacy is certainly the adoption of video calls for regular meetings although it is good to be back in the room with clients who prefer meeting in person. More than ever we appreciate that financial planning and investment advice is a very personal business and stronger connections are built when people meet.
Tell me about someone who has inspired you and why?
A friend from university was the victim of a terrorist attack in SE Asia in 2002. The attack killed her husband (they had only recently married) and a number of friends.
I am inspired by the way she approaches life and her joie de vivre. We really do only get one shot at living our lives so why not focus on the positive, helping others and being a force for good?
You can learn more and support her charity here https://dansfundforburns.org/
What’s the last book you read?
“Whose Business To Die” – Adrian Goldsworthy
Unashamedly admitting to reading a series of novels set during the Peninsular Wars (early 19th century). I am not a great one for self-help or personal development books or modern fiction so when I read I want to escape and am a sucker for what I call “Faction” – stories about fictional characters participating in actual historical events.
Queen or the Rolling Stones?
Queen. No contest. The Stones are still good and have an extensive catalogue, however I can still recall where I was when Freddie Mercury died and their music has formed the soundtrack to some important moments in my life.
What piece of advice would you give to somebody moving to live in the UK from the USA?
Talk to someone familiar with US and UK tax. You will still be a US taxpayer (beware Green Card holders – if you do not surrender before you arrive you are a still a US taxpayer). Don’t move large sums of cash or investments between countries without taking advice from a properly qualified professional.
Oddly enough, it is sometimes the more practical advice that really helps. For example, opening a UK bank account can be a nightmare for a newly arrived person. Do your research and make sure you understand what is needed!