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Partner Q&A: Behind the scenes with Chairman Colin Farmer

Our Worldwide Chairman shares what motivates him, the best career advice he ever received, and just as importantly, what he does when not working.

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What do you love most about your job?

The variety and dealing with people, whether it be my staff, clients, networking or meeting with my Alliott Group colleagues at conferences.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who was looking at starting out in your industry?

You have to be able to empathise with people from all walks of life, as well as deliver quality service. Communication is key.

What would you do if you weren't in your current role?

A drummer, but then I’d probably be on my third marriage instead of my first!

What was your first job?

If you ignore the semi pro drumming when at school, THIS! Now in my 44th year with this firm.

Name 3 people that you would invite to a dinner party (living or dead).

Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela and Clint Eastwood.

What motivates you?

Harder to answer than you realise. Seeing that I’ve made a difference to someone.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

I guess I’d have to say London, probably the greatest city in the world. We in London often take it for granted. If I had to choose another I’d say California- sun, wine and beaches! 

How do you start each morning?

A nice cup of tea. I’m English!

What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve received?

Do the best you can, no one can ask for more. It was the advice my parents gave me before every exam, but it holds true in just about everything.

What is your favourite holiday destination and why?

The Caribbean. Wonderful climate, chilled people, wonderful beaches and great rum.

Name one item that you can’t live without.

My asthma spray, then my iPad!

What is the number one problem Alliott Group solves for your clients?

Providing them with a value proposition solution for their national or international needs, from professionals who know each other and care.

Which countries do you most regularly work with?

South Africa.

What would say to a firm that is considering whether to join Alliott Group or a different international group?

If your clients are essentially mid-market, in need of legal or accounting services on a global scale, then we are right for you. Our key differentiator is the close working relationships and friendships that exist within the group, making cross border referrals and servicing of clients’ needs easier and more efficient.

Give one word that best describes Alliott Group.

Collegiate.