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Promoted to national head of BDO’s private client team earlier this year, Ayres is in demand. With information exchanges such as the FATCA-inspired Common Reporting Standard coming into effect in more than 50 countries, international HNWs need to be warier than ever.

‘You tell people and you tell people and you tell people that this is coming,’ says Ayres when asked about the impact of the CRS.

‘Some of them are listening and have taken it on board, but I suspect there’s a whole load of other people who are perhaps not well advised, or not advised by anyone, and they’re going to have a rude awakening in a couple of years’ time when the Revenue starts really acting on the information it gets.’

Despite the likes of BDO, the banks and trust companies are all singing their warnings to clients from the same hymn sheet, he says: ‘Perhaps it’s one of those things where it’s only when enquiries really start coming in that people will realise that the world has changed.’

The lucid and approachable Ayres began his career in banking and worked at a family office before qualifying. He specialises in ‘all aspects’ of HNW affairs, with a particular emphasis on domicile and residence issues, and associated planning. (He also heads BDO’s busy Russia desk in London.)

Clients like the fact that he goes the extra mile: ‘Paul is an immensely talented practitioner in incredibly high demand,’ says one.

‘He understands complex issues and is brilliant at listening to client needs, translating these complex matters, and proposing personal solutions,’ they add

Peers are equally keen, with one professing: ‘Paul is an outstanding practitioner. He has excellent technical skills, is very pragmatic, and has an intuitive sense of what clients want — and need.’

Paul Ayres
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