‘It’s really exciting because it’s a strategic role and not an operational one,’ says Wendy Walton. She is more than 18 months into her role as head of BDO Global Private Client Services, a period which has seen ‘rapid growth’ in BDO’s US, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Canada and Singapore offices, plus continued growth in the UK. Despite the firm’s reach and the complex nature of its work, Walton’s vision is straightforward: ‘It’s making sure that wherever our clients live, wherever their families live and their businesses are, we can service them in a fully coordinated way,’ she says. In order to do this, Walton taps BDO’s extensive network of advisers, but also makes sure clients are handled via a single point of contact: a niche offering the firm continues to invest in. Walton has worked across the HNW spectrum, over which time her emphasis has shifted from tax planning and tax mitigation, to managing tax risk. She now focuses on advising international entrepreneurs with complex tax affairs, who make up most of her client base today. With uncertainty around non-dom legislation and Brexit still abounding, clients want clarity and not confusion in their tax affairs. ‘What clients like to know is what they should do. The technical content is important, but really it’s about making the advice really practical and simple to understand,’ she says.
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