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Spotlight on … Rebecca Tanke – Personal Assistant to Paul Rhodes

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

As a PA I do a lot of jobs, so I see my expertise as making it all work together seamlessly; always learning new skills and continually growing my role. Whatever the challenge, I am here to find a solution in an efficient and timely manner.

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?

My role is a mixture of both client and business communication – dealing with many different companies and institutions across the world in multiple time zones. It is a constantly evolving mixture of B2C and B2B, ensuring all parties are kept updated in a timely and professional manner at every stage.

The most satisfying things are seeing a client’s investments grow, taking part in client reviews (wherever applicable) and hearing from clients about how much they trust and enjoy our service. Clients initially address their queries to me and one key component of my role is to smooth communication – I deal with day to day enquiries, general issues and emails. I gain great satisfaction from knowing that clients will now generally contact me first, which proves just how much trust they have in me as Paul’s assistant. Therefore, it’s important to have a solid line of communication between myself and Paul to ensure I know exactly what he expects of me.

It has been hard work over the last 8 years, but I’m pretty confident now that I know what Paul will answer before I even ask the question – which makes us a very strong team. But I do still ask the questions, just to be on the safe side. It’s gratifying to know we are both integral to making everything work well.

What’s special/unique/most interesting about the region you work in?

I work remotely. We have an international client base spread all over the planet. It allows me to keep servicing our clients from just about anywhere. The world is my playground; need I say more?

Right now, what is your one piece of invaluable information for expats or anyone seeking retirement planning and wealth management advice?

If you want to plan for your retirement, do not blindly give your money to banks assuming they will manage it for you. Find a suitable and trustworthy advisor (top tip; get one with an efficient PA!) that will work remotely. Find somebody that can be your advisor wherever you decide to go. Pick an advisor that will actively manage your funds, be a guide but also leave space for your own wishes to be fulfilled. If you are still young, my advice would be that retirement comes quicker than you think. Start planning early and invest wisely!

Last but not least: properties are a good asset to have, but they don’t always bring the returns that investing in the market can give you. Look at options first before making any decisions.

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?

We all adhere to a strict continued professional development (CPD) protocol. In order to be part of the Blacktower Group, we need to consistently keep up to date with what’s happening in the industry, and to see how this translates into offering a better service to our clients.

Personally, I love to grow and always give my best, as does Paul. We always strive to give the best advice, even if that means we cannot add the most value for you. Honesty, open communication and an upfront fee basis ensure our clients know exactly what they are getting and how much they will pay for it. It is important for us to be transparent and as available to our customers as possible. We love to go the extra mile!

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself

I am involved with animal charities, volunteer as a flight parent (transporting adopted animals to their new homes) and I love to support people on their healing journeys.

One of my biggest goals is to build a school in Africa one day. I have a very humanitarian side to me and it breaks my heart to know that not all children get the chance of a proper education. I would like to make a difference – not just to people that want to plan for their retirement, but also to children that want to have a future. Because we ALL deserve a good future! That is my strongest belief.

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We guess there’s one key issue for almost all expats, though, and particularly for those moving abroad with young families, and that would be safety. Large cities can sometimes be dangerous places, so it’s good to know which have robust security and protection systems in place.

Luckily, The Economist Intelligence Unit has made it very easy to determine the risks by compiling a comprehensive study entitled the Safe Cities Index.

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