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James Russell is a Client Services Director for First Names Group in Singapore.

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's history.

James has played a significant role across the Isle of Man, Cyprus, Hong Kong and Singapore businesses.  James has since settled in Singapore with a focus on expanding the established Asia business and adding strength to the growing team.

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 Dorathy Lee whose attention to detail and calm approach he considers an inspiration. She has a positive and thoughtful personality, and is always prepared to tackle any problem with great 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. 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.