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Guest post by Robert Waddington –
As Infinity’s Director of Corporate Benefits, Jerome Robertson advises multi-national corporates on their employee benefits packages, typically for expatriates and third nationals. His career journey to date reflects the essential qualities he inherited as a boy, and which continue to shape his success. This success is evident in Jerome’s progress in the five years since joining Infinity, establishing and growing this part of its business to the extent that it now is seen as a business in itself. Jerome’s vision and drive, at the core of his business DNA, are balanced by his collaborative skills as an effective advisor and consultant.
Jerome’s earliest career steps showed his enthusiasm for hard work, but offered a very different destination, joining his father’s chartered surveyors practice in London. “My father encouraged me to do well at school and to follow into the family business. My career was mapped out with the right O-levels, A-levels and university. I did all those things, but I knew I wanted something else.” That ‘something else’ turned out to be sales: “I got myself a sales job and found that presenting and selling in front of people felt easy and natural.” This conviction to follow his natural interests and abilities was to become the foundation for Jerome’s successful consultancy career.
In spite of rejecting the easier family business choice, Jerome has continued to benefit from his parents’ influence. “I grew up in England with a French mother, slightly mad, and an English father, very normal, and I have inherited a bit of both — not a bad thing in sales!” And as Jerome’s career advanced from sales to financial advisor, this inherited blend of individuality and reliability has been a key ingredient in his success.
Of course, ending up in Malaysia reveals something else about Jerome — his passion for the buzz of other cultures and countries. Ironically this has its roots back home in Brighton, the English town of his childhood: “It’s probably the best town in the UK to grow up in. It has the beach, the summer tourist vibe and is now one of the hippest places in the UK to live” he explains. Still a teenager, Jerome developed his passion for travel by back-packing around Europe, having already spent many summer in France. And being bilingual from the start has meant he has no fear of other languages.
All of this adds up to an appetite for people and places with energy, with unique differences, and with opportunities. So the chance to work in Malaysia couldn’t come too soon. “I wanted to work within an offshore market — but of course there is the climate too. I’d really had enough of British winters, so the temptation was irresistible.” Jerome moved to Malaysia in 2002 and has been there ever since. After 4 years as an independent financial advisor in investment and expatriate services, he joined Infinity as Financial Consultant. These early years in Malaysia have already contributed to Jerome’s own development: “Malaysia is still young but wanting to improve in all directions. By being here I have developed from being an individual personal advisor to, in some cases, a corporate and HR advisor.”
So, how does Jerome describe the special value of his role within Infinity? “With my company I bring a professional level of business as well as an exceptional level of service to corporate clients. Our service levels will always be in the best interest of not only our clients but of their members as well.” It is not surprising therefore that Jerome already has a dual role — helping his own external clients and assisting other Infinity consultants with their own corporate clients.
Looking ahead Jerome has a typically visionary goal, one that doubtless he will achieve. “We would ultimately like to be the preferred partner to most companies employing expatriates in the region. We have expanded our corporate base with offices now in Vietnam and Cambodia as well a new office in Hong Kong. There are many companies in the region who still require advice on group company pension schemes and other protection products. We have the knowledge and support of our providers to assist them all.”
And his strategy for doing this? “The next step is to grow the Corporate side, employ some corporate consultants in every region, and increase our brand awareness throughout.” Fantastic plans — definitely something to watch out for, and something we’ll be reporting on in the future in &beyond.
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