A week in the life of…
Senior associate for Berkeley Assets
Justin Quan Senior associate for Berkeley Assets
The first thing I do every single Sunday morning is to record what we haven’t completed, note why and write a list of 10 things that need to be completed by Thursday. I am a great believer in goal setting. Today I get as much UAE focussed work done as possible. Working between our two headquarters in the British Virgin Islands and Dubai, and our asset management office in London, means that this is a great opportunity to clear the decks before London opens on Monday. Today I talk with our introducers and work on some potential, new and existing retail and equity clients.
Today is pretty hectic as we’re dealing with the offices here, in the BVI and the UK. Coordinating three time zones can be a challenge, which means this is always my longest day, but the buzz always makes the challenge worth it.
Updates on current projects from the UK are the major objective, as we always keep our existing clients and introducers up to date. Retail clients nowadays, are much more interested where their funds are being invested, so we insist that all our existing clients have regular updates.
Today I take the opportunity to sit down with our UAE distributors. We don’t deal directly with most of our retail clients, as we work with licensed distributors that liaise with our retail clients. I’m in regular contact with them to understand if there is any way for us to enhance the distribution network. Today a lot of technical questions come up, so I do my best to answer them and find out if there is anything else we can do to improve understanding.
I spend most of today travelling in Dubai and Abu Dhabi to sit down with some of our larger retail clients. Inevitably, when our client base consists of HNWIs and family offices, they want someone from our side to explain things in more detail and face-to-face is always the best way to do this. Of course, these clients will have their own personal advisors with them, but it’s a good opportunity for me to get into the nitty gritty and have some direct communication with the clients, helping them better understand our projects. Even though I love all aspects of the job, getting into detail about what we do best has to be the most fun. The variety and change of scenery keeps things fresh for me.
Today is the same as every Thursday. I look at what we set out to do at the beginning of the week, and if I haven’t completed something, I ask why? Has it been because I’ve been too busy or because of external factors out my control? I also ensure everyone in the office is on point. I don’t believe in micro managing, so I prefer doing a week round up with the team. This helps them to hit the ground running come Sunday.
Being a chartered accountant means I have to make sure I’ve done all my continuing professional development (CPD). I don’t do this every week, but today I dedicate time to keeping on top of this.
The major activity for me outside of work involves the gym and sport. However, today there’s a bit of overlap. Working between the three offices I’m active for half the day keeping up to date on what’s happening in the London office. With the industry we’re in, it’s important to keep things moving as it’s quite dynamic and you need to be up to date. I dedicate the second half of the day to relaxing at the beach – a perk of living in Dubai.
I try not to look at my phone, which is a hard habit to keep. I use today to do errands and most importantly relax. I make a great effort to keep away from work, as I’m a big believer in the work/life balance and the need to switch off. If you don’t recharge your batteries, you’re working seven days a week and overall productivity will suffer. I keep an eye on emails, but don’t respond unless it’s urgent.