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James Russell is a Client Services Director for First Names Group in the Isle of Man.

Knowing there is no such thing as the average customer is what drives James to spend as much face-to-face time with clients as possible. Understanding clients' needs and business objectives allows him to connect with their world from the inside out - not the outside in.

Life's great successes are one step outside of your comfort zone.

James has enjoyed a colourful career with First Names Group, working in four jurisdictions and progressing rapidly through the ranks. Indeed, in 2013 he became one of the youngest Associate Directors in First Names Group history.

Having spent over ten years in our Isle of Man office, as well as time in Cyprus, in 2014 James was asked to play a significant role in realising our international growth objectives. Moving to our newer operations in Asia, James spent the next ten months working across our Hong Kong and Singapore offices, helping grow our business in the region. After returning to the Isle of Man he continued to work closely with our Asian business development team. He then returned to Hong Kong for a further six months, this time to assist with the expansion of the office and integration following First Names Group’s recent acquisition of Nautilus Trust.

James holds a degree in English and Linguistics from the University of Wales, Bangor, and is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries and a Member the Securities and Investments Institute. In 2015 he was recognised in eprivateclient’s ‘Top 35 Under 35’ listing, which aims to identify and promote the rising stars of the private client practitioner community.

The variety of work and the diversity of his clients is what James loves most about his job. When he's with a client, it doesn't matter if the meeting point is a dim sum restaurant in Hong Kong or an art exhibition in London -€ he is in the moment and absolutely believes that, together, people can do extraordinary things. James loves working with Dawn Yates who shares this philosophy. She has a bright and lively personality, and is always prepared to tackle any problem with technical skill and good grace.


Decision-making doesn't end on Friday night for James. On Saturdays he maintains order for 22 stick-wielding men on the hockey field, with only an umpire'€s whistle for protection. He still plays for his long-standing local club, Saracens, and is actively involved in the administration of the game. By his own admission, though, he'€s better at talking about the sport than playing it: James also shares his thoughts on local sports radio programmes several times a week.