INTERVIEW WITH MARTIN CHESLER
Current role: Group CEO
One word that best describes how you work: Commitment
- Tell us a little bit about your role as Clermont Group’s CEO and what that encompasses.
My role is divided between Group and Client-centric responsibilities, as is the case for
the vast majority of our senior management team. Personally serving and nurturing our
client and business partner relationships remains a very significant part of my role.
Internally, I focus on strategy and leadership but practically that translates to helping to
maximise our talented team’s success.
- Explain how you’ve approached change at Clermont
I am fortunate to really enjoy change. Our industry and group have had many years of
rapid change to adapt to, and embracing change successfully has been a hallmark of
Clermont’s success over the past 7- 8 years. We treat every regulatory and tax change
as an opportunity to add value to our clients, and to demonstrate our commitment to
excellence. I’m very proud of our ability to onboard complex changes quickly and
systematically, enabling us to provide our clients with the advice and peace of mind
they require to secure their families’ futures.
- What has been your best business decision?
I’ve made a lot of decisions in my 16 years at Clermont, some good, some less so. My
best would have to be my choice of partners.
- What is the best piece of advice given to you in your career so far?
I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting him, but Jack Welch’s focus on creating a
candid, teamwork-based culture really resonates with me. I’m very proud of the
culture and team we have nurtured at Clermont. We have almost no staff turnover
and a committed and happy team (well, most of the time anyway!).
- Do you think business books are useful and, if so, which is the best that you have
Definitely! A good book provides a fresh perspective, and broadens our thinking.
They can be a great opportunity to learn from successful thought leaders, as well
as a warning of the dangers of greed and hubris. I tend to prefer 3rd person
accounts of epic success or failure, rather than the motivational or self-help variety
of business book. Barbarians at the Gate is a classic, as is The Big Short by Michael
- Are great employees born or made?
It takes both nature and nurture to be truly great. You can be uniquely talented,
but it takes continuous hard work to get you to the top. As Roger Federer said –
“There’s no way around hard work. Embrace it!”
- What motivates you outside of work?
I try to be wholly engaged in what I am doing, whether that’s time with my family
and friends, or being physically active. I enjoy learning new things and sharing new
experiences, especially those that raise my energy and keep my mind and body
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