André Trebert, Tax Partner at BDO Guernsey is in the hot seat today, reflecting on how 2020 has been for him both personally and professionally, his idea of a good Christmas and his hopes for 2021.
How has this year been for you personally?
2020 has been entirely memorable for its restrictions as well as for the pandemic itself and there have been some real conflicts of emotions. In one respect, lockdown forced me, like many others, to slow down, take time to think and get out and enjoy a walk in great weather with minimal traffic around.
In Guernsey we were fortunate to move out of our first lockdown very quickly. So, I am also all too aware of the difficulties that lockdown has and still presents for many people and the long term impact on some .
How has this year been for you professionally?
It’s been challenging and rewarding at the same time. For BDO and our clients, COVID represented unchartered waters which were challenging as we had not experienced anything like it before.
Reward came in the form of seeing BDO colleagues pull together and support each other so well in a time of crisis. We learned the importance of maintaining productivity and motivation while ensuring that everyone had the support which they needed as an individual.
Through the experience we’ve taken lessons that include transforming our working way of life, allowing more freedom for our people to work flexibly and remotely.
What’s your ‘hot take’ for 2020?
Agile decision making. We saw how effective decisive action by Government and by businesses too can be in a time of crisis demonstrating what can be achieved with sufficient determination and support. Given the recent changes in Government on the island, one has to reflect on how we can continue with that agility to achieve real transformation in Guernsey over the next four years.
Tell us your hopes for 2021
Easy access to a Covid vaccine, leading to the opening of our borders and the opportunity for people to reconnect with each other in person. We’re so used to the free movement that globalization offers and I think we now know the value of it.
What would you like to see the States of Guernsey focus on first in 2021?
First and foremost – decisive action on the part of government to stimulate and facilitate a widening of the economy. Secondly, a meaningful budget once our new representatives have got to grips with assessing what’s possible.
What does a perfect Christmas for you look like?
Having the family around. My children are adults and doing their own thing so it will be fantastic to get them back together with their partners for a special day at home.
Do you prefer Christmas or New Year?
It has to be Christmas, although a very busy time, the build-up atmosphere in the weeks beforehand is always the best part, with work colleagues, friends and family.
What’s your favourite Christmas movie?
Die Hard…..yes it’s a Christmas movie!!
Are you ready for Christmas or do you wait until the last minute to get organised?
Usually it’s last minute for me. The pressure over the last week or so usually concentrates the mind!!
What would you like Santa to leave under the tree for you this year?
The gift of time!