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From HMRC to the private sector

From HMRC to the private sector

Meet Issac Agbley, Isaac is an Assistant Tax Manager. He works with a variety of Gerald Edelman clients to provide them with tax compliance and solutions to complex tax cases.

Isaac Agbley is an Assistant Tax Manager, working with a variety of clients to provide them with tax compliance and solutions to complex tax cases. Isaac began his career working for HMRC (or as he says, ‘the other side’!) switching to the private sector and joining Gerald Edelman (GE) in 2015.

In our latest team story, we interviewed Isaac to learn more about his career path at GE and why he chose to make the jump to the private sector.

What is your current role?

“I’m the Assistant Tax Manager, so I work in a client-facing role, delivering advice and anticipating tax issues. I aim to be proactive, to get ahead of any problems that may arise and provide effective solutions to ensure my clients achieve the best outcome for themselves and/or their business.”

“I cover different areas of tax. Typically, I provide owner-managed businesses with profit extraction advice to optimise the tax affairs of high net wealth individuals. Within the venture capital space, I am also developing expertise to provide tax advice to start-up companies on S/EIS schemes and R&D. GE has a wealth of clients within property development and investment so I am also active with advising clients on tax-efficient holding structures for their property investments too.”

Can you tell us a little but about your career journey pre-GE? What made you switch from ‘the other side’ (HMRC) to the private sector?

“At HMRC, I worked in a specialist employer compliance unit assisting with investigations, but I soon realised that I wanted to work in the private sector as it is commercially driven. I saw that in the tax profession, there is a reward for providing value beyond helping clients meet their compliance obligations. It was also an opportunity to develop relationships with clients and I felt it was an environment that I would thrive in.”

Why did you choose Gerald Edelman?

“Before GE, I trained at other top-50 London accountancy firms, which provided invaluable experience beyond the tax qualification that I also achieved.”

“I joined GE as the firm matched my career ambitions and as part of the journey, I was promoted to Assistant Tax Manager. My colleagues across the firm are great to work with and I am proud of the objectives collectively achieved.”

“The firm also has a well-supported social committee that works hard to deliver a variety of enjoyable events that brings everyone together regularly.”

What do you enjoy most about your role?

“The opportunity to get to know clients who require advice and colleagues with whom I often collaborate to deliver tax solutions. It is rewarding to see the tax solutions work for my clients and equally the development that I and my colleagues make in our careers.”

What has been your biggest hurdle during your time at GE?

“I have a young family and a long commute to work (before the coronavirus pandemic). However, GE has introduced a formal flexible working policy, which has allowed me to achieve a great work/life balance, which I’m hopeful will be sustained once this horrible pandemic is over.”

What advice would you give to others that are seeking to pursue a career in tax?

“It is a truly rewarding career, dispelling the myth that tax is the hardest thing in the world to understand, a quote attributed to Einstein.”

What are your personal goals for the future?

“Ultimately, I would like to establish myself as a trusted and recognised tax adviser to my clients.”

Want to learn more about life at Gerald Edelman? Visit our Careers page to find out more.


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