60-second interview with Roland Jones

Roland Jones, 10/1/2013

Roland Jones TEP, Senior Wealth Manager and Head of Corporate Management Services at RBC Wealth Management in Barbados.

Why did you join STEP?

Whilst I am a chartered accountant and banker by profession, my career path has taken me to the corporate and trust field. Based on my research and feedback from colleagues in the industry at the time, STEP represented an excellent opportunity for training and general knowledge in the trust area as well as access to members and material related to the trust industry.

What makes you continue to be a member?

STEP has been invaluable for me in terms of general knowledge, professional development and global contacts. I have made friends and good professional partnerships with STEP and continue to do so. It is a family for me now!

What does your branch do for you?

The branch provides the opportunity for networking with persons in the international industry and allows me to give back and mentor young professionals who are curious about trust and estate practice.

What’s the impact of using your TEP designation?

The TEP designation represents almost a fraternity with other STEP members and centres of influence (COI) in the field. I am responsible for business development in my area and find it easy to connect with potential COI, sometimes in unfamiliar markets, due to the global brand of STEP. Despite the difference in culture and language barriers, the TEP helps to overcome those challenges particularly for persons familiar with the STEP brand or who are TEPs themselves.

What was the last STEP event you attended and how was it?

The STEP Caribbean Conference, STEP LATAM Conference and the Chairman’s Assembly are the last conferences I attended. Each conference has been world class and yet seems to improve year on year! The quality of delegates, speakers and the general organisation of the conferences have all been phenomenal and reminds me of the great organisation that I am privileged to be a member of.

Private client practitioners comprise a broad spectrum. What do you think links practitioners/STEP members around the world?
The commitment to consistently provide the best service and solutions for clients. The thirst for knowledge.

What are the main challenges facing your organisation/practitioners at the moment?

The global economy and volatile landscape. We are faced with contracting fee margins, attacks on international industries, the conflict of disclosure and confidentiality, a more sophisticated client, changing global legislation and the cost of reporting. There was an interesting panel discussion at the STEP Assembly in London where one of the panellists outlined the required qualifications and experience of the perfect practitioner. Those included law, accounts, tax, compliance, psychology, mediation and family office experience; stressing the point that requirements of a trust practitioner have become more complex in today’s environment. STEP provides some solutions to these challenges, particularly for the small practitioner and family office.

How will you deal with these challenges?

My advice for the smaller and/or entrepreneurial practitioner, with limited budget and resources, might be to develop partnerships with other like practitioners or large global institutions, through bodies such as STEP where the strength of each partner can be leveraged to meet some of the challenges. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Two actually, one was developed among a group of friends early in my career ‘Percepi, Persequi, Persevero’, which means ‘Perceive, Pursue, Persevere’. I have applied this tenet to my life, both personally and professionally.

The second is ‘the best way to eat an elephant is one piece at a time’. It may seem a bit silly but my day is usually filled with numerous demands and deadlines often of a competing nature. This mantra has always assisted me and put me in a zone where I can be tugged and pulled in many different directions without becoming overwhelmed.

Who has been your greatest mentor and why?

My current mentor is our new STEP Chair ̶ Hélène Anne Lewis. She is one of the joys of being a member of STEP and, having sat with her in committees as well as having the opportunity to bounce ideas and various challenges affecting us all in business and industry, she has been a constant light nearer to the end of the tunnel.

What’s been your career highlight? 

I have been fortunate over the last 20 years to have numerous career highlights including my accounting certification and charter, becoming a chartered banker and attaining senior positions at various companies in the trust and corporate industry. However, I would have to highlight becoming a TEP and getting involved in both local and regional STEP committees, including my appointment as Chairman of the Barbados branch as my proudest moments so far.

What do you do in your spare time?

I spend precious moments with my two kids Khai and Gabrielle and am physically active, including the gym and hiking.

What’s the best book you have read this year?

Many Lives, Many Masters by Brian Weiss

What’s your favourite quote?

‘Carpe Diem’

Which social media channels do you use and why? LinkedIn. Professional network serves me better. I know I am old school when I say I have never quite bought in to the virtual social scene.

Roland Jones TEP is Senior Wealth Manager and Head of Corporate Management Services at RBC Wealth Management in Barbados. Roland has more than 20 years’ experience in banking, trusts, wealth management and international financial services. Roland is a chartered accountant and banker. He also sits on the boards of several private international business companies. Roland is the immediate past Chair of STEP Barbados and sits on the Caribbean Conference and Caribbean and Latin America Regional Committee.

Would you like to be interviewed? Email editor@step.org