Islands

It is said that no man is an island; we are all connected to different people and facets of life. Personally I quite like the response of Hugh Grant in the movie, “About a Boy”, his sister screams at him, “No man is an island, you know”, he fires back, “Well I am. Iâ’m Ibiza!” OK, we get it. At times I would also like to be Ibiza hot, packed with young restless things and ready to party 24 hours a day (more pills doctor, please)!

Then on the other hand, I look in the mirror, check the birth date on my passport and realise perhaps my destiny is, in fact, to be a slightly less chaotic island than Ibiza, or rather one that does not require me to stay up until 5am every morning, as my sons like saying, “you’re old Dad.” Thanks boys!

This got me thinking, what if the regulators decided that from now on not only did we all need to complete our full medical Fica report and do our “KYC”,( that always sound’s rude to me for some reason), but we must also describe ourselves in under 50 words as an island and why. You know what I mean, which island best describes you as an individual or your business? Well as this is really about us as individuals let’s stick to our individual comparisons, it is more interesting!

So my friend, are you Greenland, a dark frozen land of ancient people (who only eat fish?) or are you a hot steamy Thai atoll, basking in the sun and peopled by exotic scantily clad types (who also only eat fish!)?

It is actually trickier than you think, because although many of the immediate ideas seem enticing, I am not really sure I could live my whole life on or ever actually be an atoll. I get lonely. Staying up until 5am every night of my life as Ibiza seems even less attractive. As Greenland, having edges that are 30,000 year old glaciers, is also not that exciting, although some may cruelly say that it would better reflect my personality, at times.

Well as complex and also as fun a process it is, it only really highlights how little we know about ourselves and, as importantly, how much we really know about what we want in the future. If we know so little about ourselves and our desires how can we really know our clients and their hearts desire?

The answer can only be that we must do our professional best. The Needs Analysis and Risk Profiling we undertake for each client is crucial to their and your protection and only by constantly reassessing those needs and risks can we stay above the required professional standards and deliver what the client really wants.

As cliched as it sounds, 24 months ago it was a different world than it is today. In another 24 months the environment would have morphed again into something completely different. The diligent and the professional will survive, as well as flourish. The adage “Know Your Client” will be etched into all IFA and advisors minds forever.

The fun part of our, or at least my life, is the diversity. You could meet one client, who is Ibiza in the morning, and then have iced tea with Greenland in the afternoon. The problem is that at first they are not so easy to identify, it takes time and a mutual understanding that information must flow between you both and only when you have that trust and respect will you fully be able to maximise their position.

So have you decided who you are? Bora Bora, New Zealand (North or South Island?). Aussie (not on your nelly!), Majorca (that’s worse that Ibiza you don’t go to bed at all and must eat Fish and Chips and drink Tetley’s Bitter when its 35c in the shade).

Personally, I am a cross of two islands, yes that’s fair after all it’s my game and I make the rules! Firstly, I want to be an island so ingrained in my boyhood memories that even when I am there in July or August I can’t believe it’s raining. It never rained in any of my school holidays, ‘m sure! So the first half of me wants to be the Isle of Man, mysterious and shocking in its beauty and yet when it wants to be, it can be challenging, wise and rugged. The people are friendly, straightforward and honest. I feel at peace there.

The other half of me wants to be Mauritius, dazzling and exotic with a fabulous sense of ambition for the future. The people are diverse, yet harmonious and the air sweet as the sugar cane that covers the island.

On another level both my Manx and Mauritian halves are, as financial jurisdictions, joined by good regulation and sense of common purpose, we want to get on in this new modern world and we want to do it right! So I will work hard on my two diverse, yet conjoined, personalities and I wish both of my soul mates all the very best as they grow and gain respect in the premier league of financial locations.

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