From Jersey to Japan

Throughout October and early November, two of our Jersey-based Assistant Managers, Joel Speight and Hayley Alderson, spent a month with our Moore Asia team in Tokyo.

This secondment was a chance for Joel and Hayley to meet their Japanese counterparts (and vice versa) as well as Moore’s Asian clients, and help close the gap between Europe and Asia operations. It also gave them both on-the-ground experience in another international finance centre and exposure to a different culture. From a wider business perspective, the secondment was additionally a test to see how well we can work remotely in a different jurisdiction with a view to offering a 24-hour service, alternating between time zones.

Now, over to them to tell you more about their experience…

Joel Speight and Hayley Alderson in Japan

Hayley: “Since I was a little girl, I've always wanted to go to Japan, so for me this was an opportunity of a lifetime and also a huge personal and professional challenge. Tokyo far surpassed my expectations! Joel and I were taken on a journey, experiencing wonderful food, customs and culture along the way. I have learnt a lot about what it is like to live and do business in Japan and how important it is to build strong working relationships based on dedication and trust. The Japanese are perfectionists; they work very hard and take pride in everything they do. There is so much to learn from them!”

Joel: “Agreed. The last month spent in Tokyo was a fantastic experience for me on both a personal and professional level. The opportunity to learn about a new culture and business environment was invaluable and it was great to work more closely with our colleagues in the Tokyo office, who have gone out of their way to help make our visit a memorable one.”

Hayley: “Oh yes, I am extremely grateful to our Moore Asia colleagues for making us feel so welcome. I look forward to continuing to build on the relationships and new friendships I have made.”

Joel: “It was also very rewarding to be part of an important project for the company, testing the ability to work remotely as we strive towards a global approach to doing business. I particularly enjoyed strengthening relationships with our Asian clients through face-to-face meetings both in Tokyo and Hong Kong. Outside of the office, it was a lot of fun exploring Tokyo, trying out the local cuisine and experiencing the nightlife at weekends. Getting to know first-hand that the Japanese people are some of the friendliest on Earth was a real highlight!”

Cooking class with the Moore Asia team
Cooking class with Junko and Maki from the Moore Asia team

Manabu and Joel enjoying saki
Joel enjoying a cup of saki with our Director of Structuring, Manabu

Question time!

Biggest difference between Jersey and Japan?

Joel: “Appetite for queuing – Tokyoites know what they want and have no problem waiting their turn in line to get it. Standing in a queue for up to an hour to get into the place they want is the norm. They even form a nice orderly queue for the trains at rush hour!”

One thing we can all bond over?

Hayley: “Can I have two? Karaoke and food. Two big passions in Japan. Conversation over dinner with a glass of sake and then on to a karaoke bar is a common way to get to know people and build relationships in Japan. Who knew karaoke could be such a great way to unwind after a busy day at the office?”

Number one thing learnt during the secondment?

Joel: “Japanese people value lasting relationships and this extends to business. A relationship built up over time through good service, shared experiences, honesty and trust will always win out over the quick sell.”

Advice to anyone else presented with the opportunity to work abroad in Japan?

Hayley: “Take it! And prepare to be amazed every day, work hard, try everything, step out of your comfort zone, enjoy every minute and take a spare suitcase!”

Mount Fuji

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