SPOTLIGHT ON... Rosemary Sheppard, International Financial Adviser
This week we put the Spotlight On…Rosemary Sheppard who is a Blacktower International Financial Adviser in France, based in the Dordogne.
Rosemary's career in the financial services sector began in 2008 when she signed up for what she initially imagined would be a "regular 9 to 5 job" at a bank. However, in the wake of that year's global banking crisis, Rosemary re-evaluated her professional priorities and realised that the best way she could help clients in the difficult financial climate of the time would be to climb the career ladder to a position of influence. She was further excited by working under a new set of regulations that would offer clients an unprecedented level of extra protections.
Steering clients towards a prosperous retirement
In a far cry from her earliest days in local banking in the UK, Rosemary now specialises in helping expats in France to optimise their pensions, retirement accounts, savings and investments to fit with their cross-border tax situation and inheritance plans.
Rosemary is a natural communicator and people person; she considers it a priority to help clients fully understand their options rather than simply drawing out a roadmap to steer them down a particular route. This collaborative approach has proven to be incredibly successful and Rosemary takes enormous satisfaction in the fact that many of her clients go on to refer her to their friends. As she says, "People only do this when they trust you and you've done a good job for them."
An eye on the future
Despite welcoming the enhanced regulatory environment that came into being following the 2008 banking crisis, Rosemary says that she is looking forward to a day when it is easier and less costly for clients to track down and receive compensation from funds and / or financial advisers who have mis-sold investments. She is particularly vexed by instances where advisers are able to return to work or start another company remaining financially and professionally unscathed by their transgressions.
The French Connection
Rosemary was attracted to France for precisely the same reasons as her clients: culture, food, good weather and amazing scenery. She is particularly connected to the Dordogne Region, a place she describes as the "land of a thousand and one chateaus". She also feels a spiritual connection to the world-famous Lascaux caves, which are 10 minutes away from the place where she lives and works.
Rosemary believes that her expertise and region-specific knowledge give her the ideal platform to assist the financial plans of hundreds of expats in the Dordogne. As she says, "Each client has their own specific needs", but by listening to their individual day-to-day circumstances and broader financial goals she is able to understand how these fit within the cross-border context so that her clients can achieve a financially secure future.
How Rosemary could help you
Rosemary's one golden piece of advice for expats in France is to seek help from a professional who lives in the same country as you. Preferably, the adviser should have been living there for at least three years as only then can they really understand the complexities of financial services in that region and the day-to-day issues that you face as an expat.
Rosemary is bilingual, she understands both the British and French financial climates. She has lived in France for many years and is happy at Blacktower in France because she is grateful for the opportunity to offer her clients "the best and most appropriate advice tailor-made to meet their specific needs".