Profile Corner

Profile of Alan Glen


When and where were you born?
Just a little bit over 40 years ago in the city of Dundee, on the East coast of Scotland. It sits on the River Tay estuary and for keen golfers, is midway between Carnoustie to the North and St Andrews to the South. My parents still live there and I have been in Guernsey now for over 20 years, where it is marginally warmer!

Did you go to university? If so where and what did you study?
I studied accountancy at Dundee Institute of Technology, which has since had its status upgraded and is now Abertay University.

What is your most memorable travel experience?
Our honeymoon comprised a week in San Francisco, then a week in Kauai and was a fantastic trip that will live in the memory forever. Now as a family, we try to aim for somewhere with good sunshine and swimming potential.

Which book are you currently reading?
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand” came recommended and is a feel good novel that touches quietly on a number of different life areas. I have also just read the second part of Roald Dahl’s autobiography (“Solo”) which was very good! As much as possible, I try to constantly change the pace and tack of the books I am reading.

What are your interests?
Quite a bias on sport related, although I would admit over the years the participation has gradually lessened and mostly it is now as a spectator – an annual pilgrimage to a Test Match in England is the pinnacle. After a gap of roughly 25 years, I have started to play golf again at the fine links course on the Island and whilst finding the time is an ongoing issue,the combined challenge of elements, mindand body are absorbing.

Latest Movie?
My two sons, aged 9 and 7, totally dictate the cinema agenda which is why our latest excursion to the movies was to watch the new James Bond movie, “Skyfall”, which didn’t disappoint!


How long have you worked for FNB International Trustees?
I have been here for almost 13 years and looking back, it has been quite a journey thus far. I began with JG Trustees (Ashburton’s sister company) and after FirstRand took on a majority stake, followed by a complete buy out, there have been various guises through the amalgamation and subsequent sale of Ansbacher, along with different name changes. It has taught me to be open and expectant of regular change.

What is your specific area of expertise for FNB International Trustees?
As Director, it is a dual role with overall responsibility for business development in South Africa, along with ensuring that the South African administration team is performing to the very high standards that we insist upon. In these times of impersonal distant call centres and such like, we strive to offer well-trained team members who provide proactive and personal service.

What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
We take a flexible approach and it is rewarding to find the right solution to suit different individual needs and circumstances. For Trusts in their truest sense, as Trustee we act as “bon pere de famille (good father of the family) and there is much responsibility that comes with that, ensuring that we are acting in the best interests of the beneficiaries.

What was your first job?
Prior to starting in the finance industry, I did some globe-trotting and worked in different roles within the hotel industry, mainly washing pans! Just before taking the plunge into finance, I did reach a crossroads where I was offered a chef apprenticeship and that could have been a complete change of direction. Allegedly, I can still rustle up a mean Indian curry!

South Africa-Centric
Prior to joining FNB International Trustees, I worked at Old Mutual’s offshore Trust Company, Fairbairn Trust, for seven years, therefore I have had continuous exposure to South Africa and really can have no excuse for failing to understand what our beneficiaries and Intermediaries need and want. The regular visits I make are invaluable in ensuring we do not become complacent or removed from the pulse.

Work philosophy?
As a starting point, you need to be hard working, disciplined and have a focused approach. A positive, collaborative attitude also does no harm. When faced with difficult challenges or issues that seem to have no obvious answer, my remedy is to go for a long run on the country lanes or cliff tops around Guernsey. I will not always have the definitive answer by the end of the run, however, at the very least, I will always have a better of idea of how to tackle the matter