60-second interview with Naomi Rive

Tuesday, 04 May 2021
My involvement with STEP has helped raise my own profile and I have benefited from the opportunity to meet and share ideas with members across the globe, says Founder's Award recipient, Naomi Rive TEP.

What does your firm do?

Highvern is an award-winning owner-managed private wealth, family office and fund services provider, with a 50-year heritage. We became independent in 2016 following a management buy-out of the Coutts Trustees business in Jersey.

What is the most important thing STEP does, in your opinion?

I was initially drawn to STEP’s educational offering, which has benefited so many professionals in our sector. In more recent years I have also been very impressed by STEP’s lobbying on important private wealth issues. I cannot fail to mention what an excellent networking body STEP is as well, owing to its diverse and truly international member profile.

STEP recently launched new Values. Can you share any examples of how you have demonstrated one or more of these in your professional life/your involvement with STEP/interactions with clients?

STEP’s values are very important to the future success of our industry. Throughout my career I have done my best to live up to these, and have spent many hours sharing knowledge with, and teaching the next generation of private client practitioners. This was particularly the case when I acted as an Adjunct Professor of Trusts at the Jersey Institute of Law.

You were recently given a Founder’s Award. What does this mean to you?

I have worked with the STEP Committee in Jersey for over a decade, and during this time have been involved with organising many educational and social events for our members. To receive the Founder’s Award is a privilege and recognises the many hours of time and effort that committee members invest in their branches.

How and why did you get involved with STEP?

I was invited to join the STEP Jersey branch committee by a former colleague. The committee has always recognised the need to ensure that it benefits from its members’ experience, and is also open to fresh ideas. We have experimented with hosting multi-branch CPD events and started using social media to engage with members.

What benefits has it brought you?

Not only did my involvement with STEP help to raise my own profile but I also benefited from the opportunity to meet and share ideas with STEP members across the globe, especially through speaking at STEP conferences and attending the Branch Chairs Assemblies.

What do you feel are the main challenges facing your branch or region at the moment, and how are you planning to deal with them?

Jersey has a leading reputation for private wealth structuring and continues to see a steady stream of high-quality enquiries. The island has responded well to the transparency agenda and this has stood it in good stead. It goes without saying however that it would be enormously helpful if certain groups and organisations would recognise the esteem in which the island is held by so many international bodies and work constructively with us moving forward.

What do you most like about your job?

My job is extremely varied as I work with a wide range of international clients and am involved in the day-to-day management of Highvern as well. I find both parts of my job very rewarding and enjoy the fact that two days are rarely the same.

.. and what do you feel is most worthwhile?

Undoubtedly, supporting a family through a challenging phase in their succession planning or journey through life is the most rewarding thing for me. Whether it is a joyous event, like the sale of a business, or a sad event, like a divorce or the passing of a family member, it is a privilege to work alongside families during these momentous occasions.

What would you say to a young person thinking of a career in this industry?

I would highly recommend private wealth work to people starting their career. There are great opportunities, both onshore and offshore, to work with some fantastic businesses and the quality of the work is of a very high standard. You also have the opportunity to achieve a good work life balance and the ability both to travel internationally and to work remotely.

Where do you see future growth, both in terms of sectors and jurisdictions?

The increased use of private capital in commercial transactions in recent years has led to the lines between private client and corporate work becoming increasingly blurred. This presents challenges and opportunities but so long as we continue to upskill ourselves as individuals, the benefits to the sector will be considerable.

In terms of jurisdictions, as wealth becomes increasingly international, there will be continue to be demand for high-quality structuring jurisdictions across the globe. I believe there is already a good spread across the Crown Dependencies, Overseas Territories, the Middle East and Asia. The ones that will flourish are those that keep abreast with legal and regulatory developments, whilst maintaining political and fiscal stability.

Which social media channels do you use and why?

I predominantly use LinkedIn for work-related social media. The content is very diverse and I find it helpful in keeping up to date with news in the private wealth sector. I also frequently stumble across wider thought leadership articles that contain ideas which help to broaden my knowledge in a way that I hope might benefit my clients.

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Naomi Rive TEP
Naomi Rive

Naomi Rive TEP is Group Director and Head of Private Wealth at Highvern, Jersey. Originally called to the English Bar, Naomi re-qualified as a Jersey Advocate in 2003. She is a former Chair of STEP Jersey, has served on the STEP Branch Development Sub-Committee and has been a judge at the STEP Private Client Awards.