How does Menzies support your career development? Emma McCartney explain in this BrighterThinking Video.
Also our BrighterThinking Tax staff share their experiences as Managers and Directors in our Tax team answering some key FAQs to help you understand what Menzies BrighterThinking is all about:
James Razey, Manager Private Client Tax, Leatherhead
How did your career develop into you being part of the Private client tax team?
James was a maths graduate when he joined Menzies in 2015 but knew little about tax when he applied on the advice of a family friend. He initially worked in our Business Tax team but, after 18 months, he moved across to Private Client, at his own request, recognising it as a better fit for his skills and interests. He has worked in our Leatherhead office for a number of years and continues to expand and develop his professional specialisms.
Why is Working at Menzies such a fulfilling experience?
He immediately homed in on the fact that, in a firm of our size, exposure to advisory work is gained very early on. This is something that cannot always be guaranteed in a larger firm. We have the benefit of being large enough to attract and retain top notch advisors, but we are small enough to allow all levels within the team to be involved in the advisory process during the formative years of their careers. He also speaks enthusiastically about the wide variety of clients he has worked with, from high-net-worth individuals to self-employed entrepreneurs, frequently bringing offshore connections to make the picture more complex and challenging. He enjoys the “people and the conversations” that are part of the day to day and how working with expert team members allows him to liaise and “polish” his own advice.
James’s recipe for success as a Private Client specialist:
You need to be up for a challenge and technically open-minded as well as highly people-oriented and empathetic.
If you have these aptitudes and want early exposure to expert training and exposure to a wide range of client experiences, he recommends that you consider Menzies as a firm to help you go forward faster.
Helen Cuthbert, Director, Private Client Tax, Leatherhead
What makes a tax professional a good fit for Private Client Tax at Menzies?
Without hesitation she said: “Being good at problem solving, taking ownership and responsibility and encouraging a sense of mutual trust and respect both with your clients and within your team.”
When I asked her to expand about problem solving, she explained how clients often present with an issue which turns out to be just the ‘tip of the iceberg’, or maybe not even the nub of the matter at all. It takes skill, time and practice to learn how to ask the right questions to flush out all the relevant points. For this you need a genuine sense of curiosity and interest in people. Just as importantly you must “take a step back” and not take what people say at face value. High net worth clients, often with complex affairs and multigenerational family interests at heart, need time to talk it though and it takes exemplary questioning and listening skills to ensure that nothing of relevance is missed in taking the brief.
To Helen, having a highly developed sense of ownership means planning your advice and then road-testing it with relevant and trusted internal colleagues as this is the collaborative way in which the very best of possible solutions is brought to her clients. She is equally passionate about stewardship and ensuring that our junior team have opportunities to develop through listening to experienced colleagues, attending meetings and being challenged early in their careers. This “watch and learn” technique is one that works at every level and has ever been the gold standard for growing mature and knowledgeable advisors.
What do you enjoy about working within Menzies Private Client team?
Helen enjoys her time spent collaborating and maximising opportunities to cross-refer clients to specialist colleagues in areas such as Menzies Wealth Management and our International team. At the heart of it all shines through her abiding and genuine interest in her clients, and equally her enthusiasm in mentoring and growing the skill set of the people in her team. The growth mindset of the team members comes with a need for engendering resilience which is achieved by giving each team member the support and confidence to develop as skilled advisors.
What knowledge and skills should be in the development plan for a trusted tax advisor?
She chose these three above others: exposure, experience – and a desire for technical excellence.
TALK TO OUR CAREERS TEAM ABOUT OUR current OPPORTUNITIES
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