Steve Le Seelleur, Managing Director of Equiom Jersey is responsible for the overall performance of the Jersey business. Thanks to a memorable interaction with a customer early on in his career, Steve received a valuable lesson on the importance of delivering a friendly service. Since that day, he’s always set himself and those around him high standards when it comes to client centricity – and it shows in his approach to everything he does. Continuing our spotlight series, we hear more about Steve’s career to date, what’s top of his agenda, and why it’s never too late to work towards your qualifications.
Why did you choose this career path?
Having been born and educated in Jersey, and with the financial services sector being a major employer on the Island, when I left school at the age of 16 with no real sense of any career direction, I applied for and secured a junior role with a clearing bank. A few years later in 1985 and after a stint as a cashier, which gave me my first exposure to a client facing role which I found very enjoyable and rewarding, I took a role as a money broker with a local firm of brokers dealing in the sterling markets.
To be successful in this industry you had to build very close working relationships with treasury dealers, which I was good at and I knew from there that my career would develop around client services and relationships. While working as a broker, I self-funded my studies for the Offshore Certificate of Company and Trust Administration, as I saw a future role in the trust industry as something that would appeal to me due to the long term relationships trustees build with clients looking for intergenerational wealth planning. In 1995 I joined HSBC Trustee as a junior trust administrator, taking a step down the career ladder, but confident in my abilities and the opportunities that a career in trust would offer, I knew that this would be a temporary situation. I studied for and gained the dual award of Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and a BSc Hons in Financial Services. Two and a half years later and through a number of promotions, I was then appointed a Board Director at HSBC Trustee in 2005 before becoming Managing Director of Equiom in Jersey in 2019, so I have been very fortunate that my career path has more than delivered on my expectations.
How long have you worked at Equiom?
I joined Equiom in Jersey as Managing Director in March 2019. When I applied for the role, it became clear that Equiom is a very client focused business, ambitious and looking to grow while retaining client centricity, so it seemed like the perfect match for me. I am delighted to say I haven’t been disappointed and I am very lucky to have a supportive and passionate team who really care for our clients. It’s an exciting time to be part of the Equiom family; our new CEO Mark Porter joined in June and he has a clear vision for the future.
What is currently top of your agenda?
During these unprecedented times, two things have been top of my agenda: staff wellbeing and ensuring we are there for our clients. The response from our team has been remarkable and I am so proud of the way everyone adapted so quickly to the challenges we all faced, ensuring a smooth transition that did not impact our client service levels. The care shown by all line managers who offered frequent check-ins and support was inspirational. As we ease out of lockdown, it’s important we do so in a way that considers our staff’s feelings and concerns, and lots of planning has gone into ensuring our office is a safe environment. It was important that we reassured our clients during these difficult times and it has been fantastic to see the huge effort from our team to address any concerns and provide support where we can.
What do you love most about your job?
The responsibility. Being Managing Director means the buck stops with me and that’s a lot of pressure but ultimately very rewarding when you can see the positive impact your actions can have for clients and for our staff. I also love being able to find solutions for our clients and guiding them on their wealth planning journey; that gives me a great sense of achievement.
What's the best thing that happened to you this year, either at work or outside of it?
I would have to say Equiom being awarded the Jersey Good Business Charter, an initiative that celebrates the contribution of businesses in Jersey to building a better community. It’s a great recognition of what I and my team strive to achieve for our community, ourselves, our clients and our partners, delivering on our core values at all times.
What has been your proudest career moment?
I have been proud of my achievements every step of the way in my career, there have been difficult decisions and challenges, tough exams, and it has been very satisfying to prove to myself that I have the ability to do well, all culminating in my appointment as a Managing Director, which I would say is my proudest moment, along with gaining my ACIB/BSc Hons qualification at 31 years of age – it’s never too late! I have been very fortunate to have worked with some great people along the way and I am extremely proud to now lead such an amazing team.
What do you do when you are outside the office?
I make some noise on a guitar (much to my family’s frustration!), I try to keep fit and run a few times a week, and I enjoy socialising with friends and family. I have also become a bit of a Netflix addict during lockdown!
What’s the best feedback you’ve ever received from a client?
Hard to pick one example over the last 38 years. The first positive feedback I ever received springs to mind. When I was a young bank cashier, I had a lovely elderly lady who told me she always queued at my till even if others were free because she knew I would take the time to chat with her and answer her queries. This taught me very early on in my career that doing the right thing in the right way can make such a difference and it means a lot to people when they receive the level of service they expect. I have taken that feedback with me all the way through my career. Being client focused and setting myself high standards, I have been fortunate to have many opportunities to provide exceptional service and receive compliments from my clients. I was also touched by the many messages and expressions of thanks from my clients upon leaving my prior role before joining Equiom.
I think any feedback is rewarding, even a simple thank you for a job well done is satisfying to know you have met that client’s expectations and delivered the service that I, my team and Equiom strive to deliver.