News & Insights

Spotlight On … Aimee Speight – Head of Marketing

I’ll hold my hands up and say I was something of an… unlikely candidate for a brokerage at face value, with a diverse back-catalogue of PR clients from sparkling wine and mobile payment apps, to granola and bingo – plus, something of a cavalier attitude towards my pension, for which even the most benevolent financial adviser would send me to the naughty step.

The day of my interview I was turning the house upside-down looking for a pen ‘with gravitas!’ because all mine were either covered in glitter or pom-poms; however, I’d set my eyes on Blacktower and come hell or high water, I was joining the team.

I saw so many opportunities for this superb brand and two years later, we’ve seen some incredible results; the business is expanding at an exhilarating speed and we’re only just getting started – sparkly pen and all.

What is your special interest or particular field of expertise in the financial services sector right now?

My background is communication; professionally and personally. I grew up in a lot of different countries and went to thirteen schools so being able to communicate and build relationships quickly in other cultures was paramount.

It’s that borderline lust for words, semantics, gestures and signals that has shaped almost a decade in marketing for me and at Blacktower, it’s my job to make sure that audiences are aware of and engaged with the services we offer, and that Blacktower continues to build meaningful connections with people in an increasingly impersonal world.

What is the most important aspect of your work, in relation to clients, or the part of your day-to-day role which gives you the most satisfaction?

I’m not client facing (I’ve a weakness for Sisley face masks and artisan jam that I know full well is at the detriment of my early retirement plans so I leave the investment advice to the experts) but I work behind the scenes making sure that every communication, story, research or piece of content that we push out of the business is relevant, informative and engaging for the public.

The most joyful elements of my job are seeing ideas that I’ve had brought to life and in front of our audiences, and working with the wider international teams to make sure that the Blacktower brand experience is second to none.

What’s special about working at Blacktower?

  1. The people. We’re a fast-paced company with a team scattered all over the world but someone or other has made me laugh every single day since I joined and I don’t take those relationships for granted.
  2. How working parents are embraced and not just tolerated. Whether it’s an IFA jumping off a call to go pick their daughter up from school, a lockdown toddler demanding snacks on a call or a newborn crying in the background of a Zoom meeting, in two years at Blacktower, I’ve never seen as much as a raised eyebrow from anyone and that tells you everything you need to know about the people here.
  3. True integrity. You see a lot of brokers in the industry who can’t always put their money where their mouth is when it comes to watertight licencing or the best client interests. You only have to spend five minutes with any one of the Blacktower team to see how much they care about the work they do; it starts with the Group Chairman and reverberates throughout the company.

Blacktower already has a long and successful history in the sector, how will you and your colleagues continue to offer value to clients in the next 20 years and beyond?

With authenticity and adaptability, holding on to our 35 years of heritage while evolving our strategies and solutions to align with the ever-evolving client needs.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.

I performed in a children’s choir production at the Royal Albert Hall when I was a kid… I can’t say that without cringing now though so I’ll stick with the fact that I used to run my friend’s Border Collie in the Kennel Club flyball trials and competed at Crufts two years running. We won silver in 2007!

Other News

Expat Tax Planning in 2019

Calendar PlannerTax planning should be a New Year priority for any British citizen who has recently become an expat.

Just last year HM Revenue & Customs increased its efforts to ensure expats met their full tax obligations and has begun to successfully use EU laws that encourage co-operation between member states. “We will not hesitate to use all legal means to collect taxes that are owed,” commented an HMRC spokesperson. Despite this tough talking, the EU this year criticised the UK for its poor record of cross-border tax collection.

It is important to remember that although the HMRC’s new stricter approach remains at an early stage, it is already paying dividends for the government, which estimates that it lost £1.7bn in tax revenue in 2016-17, compared to £4bn in 2011-12. Furthermore, 1,006 requests for tax information were made to EU authorities in 2017. This resulted in the recovery of £5 million. In comparison, similar requests in 2013 yielded just £800,000.

Read More

Expats a Factor in Huge Pension Withdrawals

Pile of CoinsExpat pension needs are one of the major reasons behind the £15.3 billion the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) say was was taken from pensions during 2016/17.

The high level of withdrawals is no doubt attributable to the increased flexibility afforded UK pension savers by the introduction of landmark reforms over the past few years.

The £15.3 billion figure was disclosed following a Freedom Of Information request to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and is a massive 173% increase on the £5.6bn that was withdrawn in 2012/13.

In fact, the second quarter of 2017 saw the highest quarterly level of pension withdrawals in five years – no doubt including many expat pensions withdrawals – with more than 40,000 people withdrawing £4.3bn from their pensions.

Read More

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