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Q&A with Alexander Robertson, Head of Desk & HNW Relations

1st September 2021
Alexander Robertson HEAD OF UK DESK & HNW RELATIONS

Alexander Robertson

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Q&A with Alexander Robertson, Head of Desk & HNW Relations
HEAD OF UK DESK & HNW RELATIONS

Alexander Robertson

1. How did you get into the property finance industry? 

It started at a very young age - my father is in the property industry as is my uncle. I was always interested in seeing what they do. They seem to travel a lot and meet many exciting people. The professional interest started when I was about 16, I had a summer job with John D Wood & Co in its Kensington offices and here I got exposure to an intense high level of sales environment In which I now operate in daily and thoroughly enjoyed it. That's led to me dealing with people primarily and certainly becoming specialised in the property/finance industry ever since.

2. What did you do prior to joining Enness?

My career has always been heavily internal and external senior stakeholder orientated – working with high-net-worth individuals or senior management levels. It started back when I was at university, I did an internship with the Marriott group. I ended up being the 2IC of their VIP relations team at Grosvenor House Park Lane, dealing with a lot of the celebrities (attending the BAFTA’s in this capacity), HNW individuals and senior internal stakeholders of the business.

Afterwards, I got my degree in Business Administration with a specialisation in Sales and Marketing. My first role out of university was working for the direct investment arm of a single-family office that operated as a broadly based investment company targeting opportunities in private equity, venture capital, real estate and financial markets as a Relationship Manager. I was then hunted to be a senior account manager in a discrete political Public Relations and Public affairs firm. Often working in places like the House of Parliament, I engaged with very high-level individuals on a political, regulatory and governmental level and senior stakeholders of businesses that want to shape these landscapes. From there, I came over to Enness, where I am the tip of the spear in dealing with high-net-worth individuals, lenders, and partnerships through a mixture of business development and traditional relationship management feeding back directly to senior management.

3. What does your life at Enness look like?

Life at Enness is fast paced - everyone's very high energy. My typical day at Enness will start early in the morning with some form of exercise. I then get into the office - our UK team have just moved into a fantastic new office in Mayfair at 64 North Row (come and visit). Though we do meet and travel for clients, we firmly believe in being office based to create high energy cohesive culture. We're very much problem solvers, but one of the important elements is that we emphasise developing a personal relationship despite our industry norm being transactional.

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4. What do you enjoy the most about your role? 

We've all had to do our exams are regulatory exams; however, without a doubt, it comes down to people every day. Whether they are lenders or the people we work with in partnerships or clients. The space that we fill tends to be full of interesting characters who don't set the norm but operate at a different level. From a people perspective, it is fascinating. we are operating We operate at a very high level which is a great learning and development environment for a young aspiring professional.

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5. What is a typical profile of an Enness client?

I think this question is a contradiction in terms - we don’t do normal at Enness. All our clients have varying profiles, they are certainly not what you call traditional. We look at everything on a bespoke basis. This is very much reflected in our client base. We have individuals of varying nationalities. They tend to have very interesting wealth structures, which can be global and certainly don’t present typical profiles.

6. When you are not working, what do you enjoy doing during your time off?

In the rare moments when I'm not working, I have far too many passions and hobbies. I do a lot of shooting, exercise, and I'm mad about cars. During the lockdown, I took the opportunity to restore an old car, a 1984 Bentley Turbo R to be precise. I also play a game called "Real Tennis", which is the mediaeval form of tennis (Henry VIII’s favourite game). The list goes on…. and potentially ends with my aim to travel as much as possible professionally and personally.

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7. What are your favourite London (or global) hotspots?

Best Restaurant: I'd say my favourite restaurant is without a doubt a restaurant called Maggie Jones In London. I've been going there for a long time. It has incredible staff, very interesting clientele and the atmosphere is something utterly unique.

Best Bar: This is a very difficult question, but I would have to go to Harry’s Bar in Montreux Switzerland. It's right at the opposite end of Lac Laman to Geneva and frequented by jazz legends features Dark panelling, live music and the ever-present waiter/waitress in white jacket and bowtie, what’s not to like….

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Best Hotel: It would have to be the Ritz-Carlton in Keybiscayne. It is located on Island off Miami that’s held in a nature reserve and holds a special place in my heart.

Best Private Members Club: I'm going to have to play the loyalty card here. My favourite members club without a doubt must be the Queen's club. It is a place I spend a lot of time. It's a Victorian pavilion in the middle of London surrounded by a green and I would describe it as an oasis in an urban jungle.  

8. What are your personal property aspirations?

I guess my personal property aspirations would be to get a property primarily for myself that I would like to add value to. The long-term goal would be to build a portfolio a bit like many of our clients do and generate income while doing them up myself.

9. How do you see this industry going?

I think that we are inevitably charging towards the digital landscape. This is something we see here at Enness already; with us starting to dip our toes into the Cryptocurrency space. Personally, in response to this, I recently took the Oxford Said School of Business Executive Education Course in Fintech to better understand this transformative time. I think the finance industry is one of the industries ahead of the curve regarding digitization and I think that's only going to be more and more relevant.

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