As we talk to our subjects behind these Sovereign Stories, we are uncovering ever more interesting tales. Maureen Perrot’s narrative is no exception. It leads her from her family’s home in Kenya to Guernsey. Maureen has recently been promoted to Client Services Director at Sovereign Trust (Channel Islands) Limited. She has quite a story to tell.
Maureen was born and grew up in Kenya. Not always in the capital Nairobi she says but a village inland with a population the size of Sark (the fourth largest Channel Island – pop. c500). This intrigued us even more. How did a person living 4,000 miles away (“forty something years ago”, she tells us) come to live and work in Guernsey? Maureen explained.
Maureen relates how hard her family worked to ensure that she received as good an education as possible. The eldest child (of four) she studied Business Management at college in Kenya and after graduation she looked for suitable job opportunities. So began her career in the hotel industry. Jobs at home were hard to find in those days, she says, but she managed to secure a position at Nairobi’s Meridien Hotel. Employed initially for just six months’ maternity cover as front office manager, she stayed – for four years. Duties included acting as PA to both the General Manager and Chairman of the hotel so she gained a considerable amount of experience that was to stand her in good stead in the future.
But she had dreams of travelling overseas to further her prospects. Encouraged by some equally determined friends, she started hunting online for suitable positions – not really caring, she admits freely, where the job was located.
Her friends secured jobs in the UK, mainly in the Midlands and Maureen was prepared to follow them. After sending job applications online, she received a message from the manager of Guernsey’s Imperial Hotel. She admits to having to look at a map to find Guernsey. However, she had studied agriculture years before so knew all about the world famous Guernsey cows.
After a great deal of hard work securing the necessary travel papers she obtained a four year work permit allowing her to become front of house manager at the Imperial. Her family helped as far as possible but even so, she could only afford a one way ticket to Guernsey, via London – and “£30 pocket money”. This job had to work out.
Maureen travelled to Guernsey in November 2002. She remembers how cold it seemed. Everything about her new life was different – she enjoyed working with people from other countries including Russia and Latvia – with whom she soon made friends. She enjoyed her two years at the hotel and subsequently moved on to St Margaret’s Lodge Hotel to develop her skills still further.
Not long after this, she met Mr Perrot, a Guernseyman from a well-known local family. Engaged in 2006, the couple married the following year. They bought their own house in 2009 and with new financial commitments, Maureen started thinking about her career. She had loved working in the hotel sector but Guernsey’s well-developed, growing finance industry offered new opportunities that she was determined to exploit.
Thus Maureen joined Concept Group in 2007 as a trainee pensions administrator. After four years she moved across to the fiduciary side of the business and worked her way up to become Trust Manager. She was keen to build on her professional skills and became STEP qualified as well as completing the Guernsey Foundation certificate. Eleven years soon passed by which time she had built up an enviable reputation in the island, attracting Sovereign’s attention.
Maureen knew Sean Gillease (now Managing Director of Sovereign Guernsey’s hugely successful pensions business) as he too had worked at Concept. By mid 2018 she was ready to move and joined Sovereign on 1 October that year. Her progress within Sovereign has been rapid. In June 2022 she passed the initial Institute of Directors exam. The local Sovereign boards determined that she met the stringent “fit and proper” standards required by the local Financial Services Commission assessment and was subsequently appointed Client Services Director in late summer.
Outside work, Maureen has numerous interests. She is an avid reader and is devoted to her cats. Charity work is important to her and she was proud to complete the Itex Guernsey charity walk that extends to 41 miles (66 km). In the past she volunteered at the local Cancer Relief Shop dedicating one Saturday every month to that most worthy cause. She is always looking for the next charitable challenge.
Running is another favourite sport although she only runs for fun, providing her with further opportunities to enjoy Guernsey’s magnificent scenery. Maureen considers herself extremely fortunate to live in the Channel Islands whilst being able to visit Kenya regularly. She doesn’t think it likely that she and Mr Perrot will move to Kenya anytime soon but they both relish the time spent there.
Thank you for telling us your story. Best wishes to you, Mr Perrot – and the cats – and congratulations once again on your recent promotion.