From Technology & Entertainment to AAB

Alistair Duncan first approached me in early 2021 about a role at AAB in the Indirect Tax team. As someone I knew and got on with through the Scottish branch of the VAT practitioner’s group, we spoke at length about…

AAB Life Blog

Blog26th Aug 2022

Alistair Duncan first approached me in early 2021 about a role at AAB in the Indirect Tax team. As someone I knew and got on with through the Scottish branch of the VAT practitioner’s group, we spoke at length about AAB, the role and the plans for growing the indirect tax practice across the UK. However, I was in the middle of a large project at my now previous employment, and we put things on the back burner for a year. I’m not sure he’s forgotten about the initial rejection yet!

As the compliance and advisory manager in a global media company, I was in a very fast-paced and busy role. I joined the business during lockdown 1.0 and was immediately in the middle of a cutting edge and flagship project which was heavily impacted by Brexit.

Working with key internal stakeholders, external advisors, global suppliers, and logistics handlers, we delivered savings to the business of over $40m in a 14-month period. This involved us navigating customs law, the new trade agreement with the EU, and local and domestic tax matters across the world to build the most suitable supply chain and EU hub for the movement of technology goods throughout Europe and the UK.

When this project ended, Alistair and I started discussing where AAB was. Having now fully acquired Sagars in Leeds and Hardie Caldwell in Glasgow, with some exciting plans for the Group and specifically the VAT & Duty team, I knew this was the right time for me to join and move back into advisory, spending more of my time doing what I enjoy: building relationships and providing practical solutions to businesses.

I’ve now been at AAB for a little over five months, and I can confidently say it’s been an enjoyable experience so far. I’ve been straight into some high-profile advisory projects, deals, as well as supporting our newer offices to begin providing indirect tax expertise to our clients. I can already begin to see the potential for our business, and the reasons why people – team members and clients alike – stay with AAB; our people are bright, friendly, engaging, supportive, encouraging, and driven to deliver their best for clients.

These are positive building blocks for any relationship, and if the next few months are anything to go by, I’m sure I’ll be having a blast – Alistair’s dad jokes aside! You will have hopefully seen our recent announcement of our acquisition of Charlton House. Charlton House provides customs duty advice and compliance services to a wide range of businesses on all aspects of the customs’ supply chain and has a particular emphasis on customs compliance services. This is an exciting acquisition, particularly for the indirect tax team as it expands our capabilities and experience. Personally, it is also exciting as I was leading a team of Customs professionals in my previous advisory role, so to now have colleagues in that area again will be vital and I look forward to working more with the team and growing my own knowledge in working with them regularly. Paul has already begun helping me with a particular excise job, and his experience as a warehouse manager will be invaluable to me and to the client.

So, as you can tell, it’s been a busy time at work, but life is all about balance! I’m a husband and dad to three wonderful kids between the ages of 4 and 16 and spend my free time with loved friends and family. To really help me ‘switch off’ I’m a keen photographer and football fanatic, as well as enjoying walking and cycling.

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