Interview with an award-winning MD

Guernsey view coast
By CA Magazine

8 January 2019

Medal winner in the 2018 Citywealth Powerwomen Awards, Patricia White, talks about her career highlights and current role as Managing Director of Vistra Guernsey.

When did you qualify as a CA and who did you train with?

I trained with Moores Rowland, Edinburgh, qualifying in 1988.

What have been the key points in your career?

I spent four years, 1998-2002, in the Cayman Islands where I initially joined the fund industry, which has been the focus of my career ever since. I returned to Guernsey in 2002 where I progressed to Managing Director and later business owner of a fund administrator. I was privileged to be recognised as Edinburgh Napier University’s Alumnus of the Year 2013 and recently a medal winner in the 2018 Citywealth Powerwomen Awards.

What does your job involve?

As Managing Director of Vistra Guernsey I have overall responsibility for the success of our business unit both financially and operationally. As a fund administrator of real estate, private equity and hedge funds, including a number of funds listed on the London Stock Exchange and The International Stock Exchange, we must ensure adherence with the highest standards of corporate governance and compliance with regulation. In addition to this I am a Non-executive Director on the boards of a number of funds and companies.

Who do you report to?

Onno Bouwmeister, Group Managing Director of Vistra Alternative Investments and a member of the Executive Committee, based in Luxembourg.

What’s the best thing about your job?

I enjoy meeting clients and colleagues and helping them to achieve their goals, be it the successful launch of a new fund, or professional development and exam success. Working for a global company allows me to meet many people from interesting walks of life and I have been privileged to be able to travel to many countries.

…And the worst?

Never having enough time in the day!

Proudest moment so far?

On a personal level, being part of a successful MBO in 2011 was a significant milestone in my career. More recently, my team assisted a client in achieving regulated status as a Green Fund, the first regulated product of its kind.

What do you do to relax?

I enjoy socialising and spending time with my family in Scotland. I love to travel, in spite of the amount of business travel I already do, and I enjoy music concerts, most recently seeing The Proclaimers at the Playhouse.

How would you “sell” Guernsey to a CA thinking about moving there?

As a top tier international and respected finance centre, Guernsey is an ideal place to gain experience and develop your career. Aside from this, it is a beautiful island with excellent restaurants, and a wonderful place for anyone raising a family. I am very lucky to live here.

How has your training as a CA helped prepare you for this role – if it has?

The professional training instils the work ethic, time management and discipline required to be a successful leader and work under pressure.

What advice would you give for a CA looking to pursue this career route?

I would encourage any young CA to gain broad work experience; my experience as a chief operating officer proved invaluable to my current position. Overseas experience also broadens the mind and the opportunity to learn to understand other cultures’ attitudes and work ethics is invaluable.


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