60-second interview with Simon Gorbutt 2018

Simon Gorbutt, 31/7/2018

Simon Gorbutt TEP is Director of Wealth Structuring Solutions at Lombard International Assurance in Luxembourg.

What does your firm or organisation do?

Lombard International Assurance provides customised insurance-based solutions to help individuals ensure their assets are protected, portable and can be passed on.

What has STEP done for you, individually, or as a business?

The networking opportunities, and industry and technical updates available at STEP are invaluable. Locally, the STEP Benelux Branch is an ideal platform through which to speak regularly with others in the industry, share information on recent developments and showcase new ideas.

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

STEP engages with supervisory and industry bodies, maintains high technical standards, and shares knowledge and insight, not least via the STEP Journal.

You will be speaking at the STEP Europe Conference in October. What will you be speaking on and what are the main issues?

I will be chairing a panel session with leading practitioners from Luxembourg, the UK, Norway and Switzerland on Navigating the Regulatory Maze. The European regulatory environment in which we operate is becoming ever more complex and unwieldy. Some question whether current changes, including Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MIFID II), Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products (PRIIPS), and Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD), really achieve stability, security, and protection for clients. We will be addressing these, and other issues, on the first day of the event.

What do you most like about your job?

The variety that comes with working alongside a 60-strong team of in-house legal, tax and insurance specialists from numerous jurisdictions, together with the number and diversity of client scenarios that we encounter.

.. and what do you feel is most worthwhile?

Working with the team to find simple answers to clients’ complex cross-border needs.

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

Prioritise both business relationships and expertise, as they will take you furthest when acquired together. Always seek out better ways of doing things: don’t accept that if something has always been done that way, then it can’t be improved.

Which sectors are likely to see the strongest future growth, do you think?

Cross-border advice. With clients increasingly acquiring personal and professional connections with multiple countries it is essential to be able to keep pace with law and tax in each jurisdiction.

What trends do you see in the global private wealth sector at the moment?

Technological advancement in financial services, including blockchain-based compliance and payment solutions.

What do you feel are the main challenges facing practitioners, and how will you deal with them?

Regulation. It’s important to shoulder as much of the burden of reporting and regulation as possible for clients, while embracing regulatory change early.

Which social media channels do you use and why?

Lombard International Assurance uses LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+ and Facebook to share news about our business, our latest solutions, and industry developments.

Simon Gorbutt TEP is a solicitor, qualified in England and Wales, and Trust and Estate Practitioner. Since 2007 he has been based in Luxembourg, specialising in cross-border wealth planning for high net worth individuals. A Director at Lombard International Assurance, Simon is a frequent speaker on insurance-based wealth solutions, a contributor to the International Tax Planning Association (ITPA) and a member of the STEP Benelux Board. He holds the STEP Advanced Certificate in UK Tax for International Clients, and in 2018 received a Worldwide Excellence Award for his result in the STEP Advanced Certificate in Cross-Border Succession.