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Wendy Walton is one of BDO’s key figures, having climbed the ranks since starting as a trainee. ‘I decided I wanted to be a partner almost immediately,’ she says.
At first her role was focused on UK individuals and families; today, international HNWs with complex tax affairs make up most of her client base, coming from jurisdictions such as Jersey, Hong Kong and France. A vast majority are entrepreneurs, business owners, family offices, private offices and UHNW families.
Her tried and tested strategy is ‘to consider what the client wants to achieve and then work through a plan of how to get there, considering the tax implications along the way’. She now sits as the head of BDO’s global private client services. Her main mission is quite simple: to ‘help HNWs succeed. We do this by building long-term relationships and bringing new ideas to the table.’ Recent conversations have revealed increasing interest around areas involving capital preservation and succession matters.
BDO continues its positive momentum after its merger with Moore Stephens in 2019. It was good news for the wider network of businesses Walton oversees, too, in her position as the head of global private client services. This arm of the network looks after the needs of some of its wealthiest and most ambitious and entrepreneurial clients. It also means HNWs are able to access senior strategists such as Walton ‘without layers of bureaucracy’.
The pivotal moment of her career was when she was asked to lead the firm’s private client practice in 2006. Other highlights include being crowned Spear’s Accountant of the year in 2014, being named one of EPrivateClient’s 50 Most Influential private client advisers and winning the Citywealth Powerwomen Career Achievement Award.
One peer is full of praise. ‘As a leading figure in private client tax, Wendy is one of the first names we turn to when our clients ask for a recommendation,’ they say. ‘With an extensive knowledge of tax legislation combined with her personable nature, she completely understands the needs of a wealthy individual and is able to offer discreet and practical advice on a range of subjects. She is naturally able to put clients at ease, ensuring that the conversations are personal while catering to our client’s situation.’
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