Our Sovereign Story this time features Gerard Fitzpatrick who joined Gibraltar’s Sovereign Wealth team as a Wealth Adviser in late 2022. He was born in Belfast in 1991 and brought up in England thereby losing any trace of his Northern Irish accent.
In 1996, Gerard moved with his family to Gosport, near Portsmouth. A spell at boarding school finally did for any remaining Irish lilt and these days it is almost impossible to place accurately Gerard’s accent. “Oh, and I let the English call me Ger-ard” he said, “but really it’s pronounced Ger’d” (author’s apostrophe). With the scene set, we asked him to carry on his story.
Five years later, Gerard was on the move again – to Appleby-in-Westmorland in Cumbria best known for its annual “Horse Fair”. This is an annual gathering of gypsies and travellers – and their horses – and these days is thought to be the biggest and best fair of its kind anywhere in Europe. What a great place to live as a child.
At nineteen, he went to college in Manchester before making Sheffield his home for the next eleven years. At this point, he revealed that at university he studied creative writing (thereby presenting us another reason to stay alert!) He picked up some useful experience in these early days working as general manager for a student pub called Champs.
Gerard moved to Glossop in the Peak District where he ran a country pub for a year. Changing direction completely, he went on to spend three years working in real estate. He started at an estate agents in Marple, near Glossop and after six months, he moved back to Sheffield.
Throughout his time as a local estate agent, he had stayed in touch with some of the regulars he had originally met during his Champs days. Located next to a large Aviva office, unsurprisingly many of its staff frequented the bar and Gerard came to know many of them very well. Fast forward to 2019 and, following an introduction four years since leaving the student bar, he joined Aviva, initially working on the operations side of the business
At Aviva, he concentrated on building his knowledge of the pensions business. Following his induction, he became a business development manager in distribution where he remained for the next two years. At the time, Aviva were promoting their products to Independent Financial Advisers on a B2B basis. Skills developed at this stage have served him well as he moved back into dealing with individual clients.
Following repeated lockdowns in Britain, Gerard started to think seriously about a move overseas. By March last year, he and his partner Chloe had decided on Gibraltar as their preferred jurisdiction. They moved to Spain then finalised their transfer to the Rock in November. Chloe has also built a career in financial services and works for the Group, as a Senior Insurance Broker at Sovereign Insurance Services.
Gerard realises that many expatriates working in Gibraltar choose to live in Spain and commute each day across the frontier. He and Chloe decided early on to buck the trend and live in Gibraltar itself. After a few months living in Ocean Village, they have bought a property in Gibraltar’s upper town at Arengos Gardens.
Qualifications are important for Gerard and he has studied to Level 4 of the CII Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning and is currently working towards the Advanced Diploma and Chartered status. And how is his Spanish? English is the Rock’s business language but he appreciates that he will get a lot more out of living in the region by speaking at least some castellano so it is a priority for the next year or two.
Gerard was attracted to Sovereign by its global reach and a similar staff-centric approach that he had experienced at Aviva. Flexitime is another benefit that he finds greatly beneficial. His role is to advise Sovereign Wealth clients who so much appreciate the Group’s independent, unbiased support.
Outside work, Gerard is a keen sportsman. He is still playing football and is currently looking for the team most closely suited to his style and level. Also keen on kick boxing and mixed martial arts in general, there is no doubt he will find outlets in Gibraltar that allow him to continue developing.
It is refreshing to meet a relatively new joiner and to understand the attraction of Sovereign – and Gibraltar. We wish Gerard and Chloe the very best of luck as they continue to settle into their jobs and new home. We will follow your progress keenly in the years ahead. Thank you for your time.