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The year has been ‘very challenging’, with clients left in a quandary created by the non-dom reform and the EU referendum vote, Callinan says. It is a period where trusted advisers become indispensable: ‘And in a period of uncertainty, clients tend to turn to partners like me.’

What UHNW families find more comforting is the way the private client department acts as a ‘bridge’ to the rest of the firm’s offering. KPMG’s private client head speaks of a recent conference call with a client on Brexit mitigation: ‘I had one of our economists together with one of our senior consultants on the London real estate market and one of our investment advisory colleagues. That, together with my tax knowledge, delivered a lot of value.’

The one-stop-shop approach is an ‘evolution’ that follows on from the fact that KPMG is now a powerhouse of ‘very experienced partners,’ he says. ‘We act as one national team.’ It is an approach that is different than that of other private client advisers, he adds: ‘We build relationships with clients and become the trusted adviser, using our private client skills. We also then act as a lead partner, bring to them all of the other skills around the firm.’

Called on for his niche knowledge of investment products, Callinan advises UHNW entrepreneurs, family offices and family business leaders on UK and international personal taxation, while his 150-strong team in London has a strong emphasis on helping company shareholders and professional partnerships, using the firm’s global footprint to stay abreast of regulatory shifts around the world.

Having ‘pioneered’ the use of family investment companies in the UK, Callinan has more than twenty years’ experience advising UHNW entrepreneurs, family offices, and family business leaders. He is proud of the firm’s recently established investment advisory arm for family institutions and trusts.

The partner and head of the UK Private Client Advisory tax team of over 170 specialists has over 30 years’ experience advising institutional shareholders and individuals, trustees and family offices on all aspects of personal taxation, taxation of private companies and personal investment internationally and in the UK. A leading specialist on income tax, capital gains tax and IHT, he has advised some of the largest and most complex private company sales, IPOs and investment structuring.

The tax landscape may have shifted considerably since he joined the big-four firm in 1991, but his emphasis is contrarian, as he previously told Spear’s: ‘What’s remained constant is perhaps more important than what’s changed,’ he says. ‘Quality advice, experienced and capable teams are the safeguard for private capital and private wealth. Unfortunately the proliferation of what appeared to be attractive tax opportunities for investors has simply turned out to be disappointing.’

This calm and approachable countryside lover tells Spear’s he has been doing ‘short sprints’ in his spare time, in preparation for a 10km run on his 54th birthday. He also enjoyes walks, equestrian sports and game shooting.



Dermot Callinan