15th April 2013
Gary Killmister first joined the firm that became CI Accountancy in 1987, becoming a director in 1993. He is also a director of Imara Beresford International (IBI), the Mauritius subsidiary of private banking/asset management group, Imara Holdings Limited.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Winning new clients, and in the process meeting and working with some of life’s characters. Also, working with other professionals from different disciplines to achieve results for clients.
What was your first job? Where else have you worked before CI Accountancy?
I trained as a building surveyor when I left school. I qualified, and then jumped just before I was made redundant during a downturn, so I became a policeman for eight years. I then trained as an accountant and joined my dad’s firm in Jersey, which would later evolve into CI and IBI.
Why did you decide to become an accountant?
I had to leave the police force due to medical reasons, which in hindsight was the kick up the rear end I required! My dad was an accountant with a small practice, and as a police officer, I had acted as the treasurer and a trustee for a couple of charitable trusts which owned the sports grounds and bars of our divisional sports and social club.
What would you say your strengths are?
Trusts and associated tax planning.
What is your greatest professional achievement so far?
I acted for a US-owned company that was one of the first foreign businesses to execute a joint venture with the Chinese government before China had really opened up to overseas business. I worked there in the early to mid-90s and was part of a team that negotiated the deal, which at the time was fairly unique. I have also been involved in several trust cases and matters involving offshore pension trust products which have resulted in changes in legislation.
What do you hope to achieve in the year ahead, both professionally and personally?
Professionally, IBI had its best year ever last year and CI continues to move forward, so I would like to build on that. Personally, I would just like to get through my youngest daughter’s (the last of three) wedding in May with my credit rating reasonably unscathed, and spend more fun time with my beautiful grandchildren. I want to stay young enough to lead my grandsons astray when they’re old enough!
What hobbies or interests do you have outside of work? Any favourite holiday destinations?
I love rugby, but very much as a spectator these days. We have horses, so I like riding (clinging on desperately trying not to fall off). I also enjoy shooting and fly-fishing. In terms of holidays, I do a lot of long-haul flying for work, so my favourite holiday destination is anywhere I can get to within three hours.
If you were not an accountant, what other job would you do?
If I was younger, professional rugby player. Alternatively, an academic studying anthropology, which has always been an interest of mine.
If you could go back in time and offer advice to yourself when you were just starting out in the profession, what would you say?
Don’t specialise too soon. I should have stayed in general practice a bit longer, but I was already doing a lot of trust work before I qualified, so I ended up becoming the trust person by default.