Guernsey firms encouraged to demonstrate expertise at STEP awards

13 March 2017

More Guernsey firms participating in this year’s STEP Private Client Awards would help highlight the island's expertise as a leading financial services jurisdiction, according to a Guernsey-based judge.

Saffery Champness Registered Fiduciaries Director Lisa Vizia has been appointed a presiding judge for the 2017/18 awards - the winners of which will be announced at a ceremony in London on 6 September.

There are 19 categories to choose from including several that have been split into 'mid-size' and 'large' to better reflect the size and nature of the firms entering. These include accountancy team of the year, contentious trust and estates team of the year, international legal team of the year, and of particular interest to the fiduciary sector, trust company of the year.

Seven Guernsey firms entered last year’s awards and Miss Vizia is hoping to see more this time around to further endorse the island’s financial services.

"As a presiding judge I see myself as an ambassador for the STEP Private Client Awards and part of this role is to raise awareness of the awards in my jurisdiction," Miss Vizia said. "I would really like to see as many companies as possible from Guernsey entering.

"The awards are the hallmark of success in the private client industry around the world. Recognition at these awards for a local firm is not only endorsement for the firm itself, but for Guernsey as a leading financial services jurisdiction as a whole. There are some excellent professional firms in Guernsey doing great things and with the categories giving all firms, regardless of size, a chance to be shortlisted or even win, I would wholeheartedly encourage firms to enter."

Now in its 11th year, the STEP Private Client Awards highlight excellence among private client solicitors and attorneys, accountants, barristers, bankers, trust managers and financial advisers globally.

Miss Vizia joins a panel of 17 judges from around the world, who are each expert in their own fields and together span the international legal, accountancy, financial advisory and fiduciary sectors.

She heads up the dedicated family office team at Saffery Champness, which manages offshore structures for ultra-high net worth families with a particular focus on the Middle East. She is involved in the business development for the firm's fiduciary business and leads the Guernsey office's Corporate Social Responsibility activity. She has worked in the trust industry for more than 30 years, joining Saffery Champness in 2010.

"There are some excellent professional firms in Guernsey doing great things and with the categories giving all firms, regardless of size, a chance to be shortlisted or even win, I would wholeheartedly encourage firms to enter." Saffery Champness Director Lisa Vizia

The company, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary in Guernsey this year, was a finalist for the Trust Company of the year award at both the 2015 and 2016 STEP Private Client Awards.

Entries for the awards are open until 28. More than 700 private clients are expected to attend the ceremony on 6 September. For more information, visit http://www.steppca.org/.