The benefits of a multi-lingual office

When considering diversity in the workplace, linguistic diversity may not be front of mind, but a multi-lingual workplace can yield a wealth of benefits for clients, intermediaries, and employees alike.

For firms with a global client base and professional network, language barriers can hinder effective communication. However, when service providers are proficient in multiple languages, they can bridge these gaps and facilitate seamless interactions, resulting in increased efficiency.

The significance of a multilingual workforces cannot be overstated in the realm of trust and corporate services. As family offices and corporate businesses expand internationally, they may encounter a myriad of legal, financial, regulatory, and cultural intricacies.

Having professionals who can navigate these complexities with ease is invaluable and enables them to tailor their services to specific regional or cultural preferences. This inevitably results in stronger relationships with clients and contributes to the delivery of a first-class service.

At Saffery Trust, we support clients without being restricted by location. Our offices in the Cayman Islands, Dubai, Guernsey and Switzerland work in partnership with clients and specialist advisors from every continent across the globe. Across our five jurisdictions, our team members speak more than 15 languages, including Creole, French, German, Hindi, Russian and Sindhi, and our cross-border working capabilities mean that our clients have access to any of our multi-linguistic team members.

Geneva Senior Trust Professional, Eduardo Paz, speaks fluent Spanish (his first language), English, French, Portuguese, and is proficient in Italian.

“Some languages are a result of places I have lived, while others I learned out of personal interest. Learning another language is difficult, especially as an adult, but the rewards are endless, including in the workplace.”

“Often, most clients and intermediaries will speak English, however this is not always their preferred choice. In some cases, a client will be much more comfortable speaking in their first language and are always appreciative when this is made possible. From succession planning to wealth structing solutions, as Trustees we are often discussing complex concepts with our clients, and it is essential to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Communicating in our client’s preferred language helps to ensure they can convey their thoughts clearly, and that we have understood them fully.”

Saffery Trust Cayman Office Manager, Chilian Wong, echoed Eduardo’s views on the value of being multi-lingual.

“Learning another language encourages you to step out your comfort zone and give yourself the opportunity to communicate with people who you otherwise may never have the opportunity to interact with. Studies have shown that learning another language improves concentration, memory and enhances creativity, so there are a lot of personal benefits alongside the benefits to our clients.”

More than 30 Saffery Trust staff are multi-lingual across the firm’s offices, including some non-client-facing team members who are called upon to enhance its delivery of excellent client service.

Guernsey Assistant Compliance Manager, Anita Holst, speaks Danish, English, German, Norwegian and Swedish.

“Although my role is not specifically client-facing, I have supported Saffery Trust by translating documents and assisting in meetings, which helps to reduce delays and third-party costs to the firm, or to clients, as everything is kept in-house.”

“Speaking multiple languages has deepened my understanding of communication and the nuances between different cultures. I have found that although some cultures may appear similar on the surface, there are many small differences in mindsets, values and general attitudes to life and work. Being aware of these differences creates a healthy balance in the way we interact and work as a global team for a diverse client base. Learning other languages gives you an unrivalled opportunity to see the world from different perspectives.”

The multi-linguistic skills across Saffery Trust are a contributing factor in enabling the firm to provide completely tailored services.

Contact us to find out how we could support you, or your clients, in achieving your personal, professional, or financial objectives.