Nicholas Cully, Group Sales Director

We travel to Switzerland for today’s Sovereign Story featuring Nicholas David Cully, Group Sales Director since 2018. He is responsible for Sovereign’s sales and growth strategy and holds the Institute of Directors Certificate in Company Direction. Nicholas sits on multiple Sovereign boards around the world and travels extensively when not able to use video communication technology.

We started by asking Nick whether anyone ever used his full name. Nick smiled “it’s just my mother who calls me Nicholas Cully these days – to everyone else I’m Nick.” Born in Cirencester in 1982, Nick grew up in the Cotswolds. Married to Kate since 2013, the couple are proud parents of three daughters – Athene who is six and four year old identical twins Frankie and Maggie. All three are fluent Swiss German speakers and are being educated in local Swiss schools.

After completing his secondary education and before going up to University, Nick spent a year in Njombe, Tanzania close to Lake Malawi. Here he worked with a charity teaching AIDS awareness and travelled widely in the region. He recalls living in a mud hut crediting this experience with instilling a wanderlust that has never left him.

Nick studied combined English and French law at Exeter University graduating with an LLB (European) law degree in 2005. During his time at Exeter he was able to study for twelve months at the Université de Rennes, in the historic capital of Brittany.

Nick was passionate about the law, but decided not to become a lawyer. Instead, he spent three years at UK stockbroker Killik & Co., based in London’s Canary Wharf. Continuing his studies, he became an Associate of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI).

By now in his mid-twenties, Nick was determined to work abroad and successfully applied for an advertised position at Gibraltar Asset Management. His experience of the Rock had hitherto been limited to the view from thirty thousand feet on his way to Morocco. Thinking from his bird’s eye view that “it looked like an interesting place” he moved to take up his new role in March 2009.

He enjoyed his time stock broking but decided after a year that Gibraltar offered more opportunities in the fiduciary sector. Knowing of Sovereign, he sent an email to John Hodgson (then Sovereign Group’s Legal Director) rather cheekily “asking for a job”. He must have impressed for he joined the Group in mid-2010 spending six weeks in Gibraltar before transferring to Dubai as a business development manager.

Sovereign promote their staff allowing them to develop their skills rapidly but even so, Nick’s rise in Dubai was meteoric. After just a few months, he became head of the business development team before advancing to director level just a couple of years later.

By September 2015, the top position in the Middle East had become vacant. Nick moved into the Managing Director’s seat for five years. During this period he not only managed the UAE and Bahrain businesses but also oversaw the Group’s expansion in Saudi Arabia focusing on clients’ market entry strategies.

Appointed to the Group board in 2018, Nick combined his new responsibilities whilst continuing as Middle East Managing Director for two further years. He spent much of this time looking at potential corporate acquisitions in the region and beyond. Step forward PRO Partner Group (“PPG”), the hugely successful business with offices across the Middle East.

Through a mutual contact, Nick was introduced to PPG’s Nazar Musa. Following a process lasting some eighteen months, Sovereign acquired the business in May 2022 (its largest corporate deal to date). Since then, Nick has continued to exploit the synergies between the two firms. Nick views the identification of PPG and taking the acquisition forward as his most rewarding business achievement so far.

In addition to coordinating PPG’s integration into the Group, Nick is responsible for managing the sales strategy for various offices worldwide. He concentrates on the Middle East, Asia and South Africa operations although his role is global.

Meanwhile, in March 2021 the family relocated to Zug in Switzerland just 20 miles south of Zurich. The Covid pandemic accelerated the move although Nick explains that whilst the couple loved their time in Dubai, they wanted their daughters to be educated in Europe. Nick and Kate both know Switzerland well and Sovereign has held a Swiss licence for many years. It was a logical move and a perfect choice for all concerned.

The family’s new home is located just outside the city of Zug. It is close to the forest allowing them to enjoy the outdoor life together with their two golden retrievers. Nick and Kate are both passionate about skiing. Their three girls have taken up the sport and snowshoeing is another favourite winter activity. As Nick explains, the car remains in the garage as much as possible as in summer months, the family enjoy hiking and cycling.

The couple are also inveterate travellers. Nick has so far clocked up 118 countries and territories across the globe. He is currently beating Kate adding that the children have racked up more than 20 countries too. Not that he keeps count, you understand! In his younger days, Nick was an accomplished sailor involved in racing around the UK and France. Sadly, he muses, he cannot find time for everything.

Looking back on his professional life thus far, Nick rather modestly says that he considers himself lucky to have had such fantastic opportunities. We all know that it takes more than mere luck to grasp such chances so enthusiastically and go on to achieve great success. We wish Nick and his family well as they continue to build their life in Switzerland. Thank you Nick for your time (or if your mother is reading this Nicholas).

Contact the Author
Get in Touch

Please contact us if you have any questions or queries and your local representative will be in touch with you as soon as possible.