Profile icon Tick icon small Search icon Mobile nav icon Pin icon Linkedin icon Facebook icon Instagram icon Email icon Telephone icon Arrow down icon Logo 12360 Our vacancies

Making the leap across the pond

Hear from three of our people who have taken a secondment to our US office.

Making the leap across the pond

The chance to move to the US is one a number of our people had with the opening of our Philadelphia office.

Here, Simon, Florence and Benjamin tell us their reasons for moving, tips for those considering a relocation and whether it has all been worth it.

Simon Fernandes – Financial Reporting Manager, Private Equity

Tell us a bit about yourself and your career with Aztec to date

Joining the Aztec Group was my first job after leaving school back in 2013. Since then, I have gained valuable experience in a number of different areas of accounting and fund services. This knowledge and background meant I had the opportunity to relocate to the US and help service a number of other clients.

Why did you make the move from Jersey to the US?

The main reason I wanted to move was to try something new. As I joined Aztec straight from school, I didn’t go to university and so I had never lived anywhere apart from Jersey. After being somewhat isolated for two years due to Covid-19, my secondment to the US was the perfect opportunity to gain new experiences.

How did you find settling into a new country?

Since I made the move to the US, the office has grown so quickly. The team has been amazing in helping me adapt and settle into my new home, whether it be showing me their favourite restaurants or telling me where is best to do my grocery shopping!

What advice would you give to someone looking to relocate?

If you are sat on the fence and aren’t too sure what to do, ask yourself what is the worst that will happen, and do you think you will regret the decision of letting an opportunity like this pass you by? I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone since I moved to the US so my advice would be to take a leap of faith and give it a go!

Was it worth it?

Absolutely! Since I relocated to the US, I have experienced so many different things for the first time, both from a professional and personal aspect. Whilst in the US I have led on the migration of new clients, participated in client pitches and calculated client fee quotes.

Outside of work I have been able to go to Disneyland, attempt to ski and ride a bucking bronco whilst in Nashville, Tennessee.

What’s next in your career?

Over the next few years, I want to continue playing my role in the expansion of our US office by building strong relationships with existing and emerging US fund managers whilst nurturing and developing local US talent within our organisation.

Florence Gittins, Marketing Manager

Tell us a bit about yourself and your career with Aztec to date

I joined the Aztec Group in 2018 in the Business Development team looking after proposals and pitch documents across the Group. In 2020, I made the move over to the Product Marketing team to manage events, sponsorships, campaigns and other day-to-day marketing activities.

Why did you make the move from London to Philadelphia?

I’ve always wanted to live in the US and experience the culture, so when the opportunity to make the move across the pond came up, I leapt at it! Philadelphia is a diverse and vibrant city that has a huge amount of history and provides easy access to travel the east-coast. Where else can you walk on the oldest street in America? Or mail a letter from the very first United States Post Office?

How did you find settling into a new country?

Very smooth! You really have to take each day as it comes and accept that there will be change and challenge to your usual routine. I have been incredibly lucky as the team and colleagues who had seconded to the US before me passed on huge amounts of advice, which made the transition much easier. Sure, there have been challenges like switching all my electronics to US plug sockets and driving on the other side of the road, but this is all part of the adventure!

What advice would you give to someone looking to relocate?

Embrace the opportunity! There is no denying that relocating is a daunting prospect but the more you put into the experience, the more you will get out of it. If you weren’t before, you will become a ‘yes’ person, which will open the doors to so many new and exciting experiences.

Was it worth it?

Absolutely. My only regret is not doing it sooner!

What’s next in your career?

Who knows? I’m really excited about the year to come and fulfilling my new role and responsibilities and seeing where that takes me.

Benjamin Cox, Senior Client Relationship Manager – Private Equity

Tell us a bit about yourself and your career with Aztec to date

I joined the Private Debt Team in 2016 and moved to the Private Equity team the following year until the opportunity to move to America came up. Since then, I have been involved in the office operational framework, building out our client facing teams and strengthening our strong relationships with our US clients.

Why did you make the move from Jersey to Philadelphia?

Earlier on in my career I was asked to move to Luxembourg with a previous employer but at the time it just didn’t feel right. I always harboured a regret for not challenging myself to make the move.

When the opportunity to move to America came about, I was more than ready and jumped at the chance. For me, it wasn’t just about the glamour of moving to America that appealed, I was just as excited about being one of the first in a new office and all the challenges and experience that would bring. It was a no brainer really!

How did you find settling into a new country?

I have been here almost a year and I absolutely love it! I was lucky enough to meet my girlfriend in the second week that I moved here and have settled into life very quickly. I have had the opportunity to travel and see a new country, see the culture up close and make new friends.

What advice would you give to someone looking to relocate?

Do it! Embrace the challenge. Nobody finds it easy putting themselves in new territories, but you learn and grow so much, and it is totally worth it. And be honest, let people know what you’re looking to achieve, and you will be supported.

Was it worth it?

Absolutely. I have got everything I wanted out of this secondment and more! From being part of a brand-new office and working on new projects, to filming a black bear eating our garbage at a guest house in the Poconos mountains, we have all experienced so much!

I have met lifelong friends and have been given the opportunity to travel whilst achieving the professional challenge I was looking for. It’s been a great journey!


Are you interested in learning more about the opportunities the Aztec Group offer their people? Click here.

Aztec Group eNews