EY’s head of UK & Ireland private client services Katherine Bullock wears many hats. ‘I’m a lawyer, a chartered tax adviser, a financial adviser, a family business consultant – to work effectively with HNWs you need to be multilingual in a professional sense.’ That’s a necessary skill with a clientele so ‘complex and mobile’. But besides being a multitasker, Bullock is also open-minded and capable of ‘listening to different viewpoints’.
That said, Bullock still worries about the prevailing uncertainty which has been the new normal now for a ‘prolonged’ period of time. Urgent clarity is needed, she says – especially in tax areas which have a tendency to be misunderstood due to ‘a lack of proper debate and analysis’. She cites the current attitude towards trusts: ‘There is a tendency to view trusts as a tool for tax avoidance – but they’re also powerful and valuable ways to protect vulnerable people’s privacy and safety. It is important to have a balanced perspective,’ she says.
Bullock was head of PwC’s UK private client department for a decade, and built the firm’s most successful North East private client arm. She joined EY as a partner, where she advises individuals, family offices, trusts and foundations. Expertise includes tax and wealth management strategies, untangling offshore trusts and funding lifestyle assets such as yachts and even football clubs.