A week in the life of…

Se­nior as­so­ciate for Berke­ley As­sets

Gulf Business - - FEATURES -

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.

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