We are delighted to feature an interview with Jennie Rimmer who is the Group Head of Tax at Aspen, the Global (Re)Insurance Group. In addition to her role at Aspen, Jennie serves as a member of Council of the Chartered Institute of Taxation and is Chair of the CIOT Commerce & Industry Group. She is also an active member of the Corporate Tax and International Tax Committees, and is a member of the Tax Strategy Committee of the ABI.
How and why did you get into tax?
I studied Revenue Law in the third year of my LLB and really enjoyed it. During my final year, KPMG were marketing their new ‘Tax Business School’ which gave a fast track to ATT, to kick start early attainment of the Chartered Tax Adviser qualification. When I completed my degree, I joined KPMG’s Insurance Group in the London Office, and the rest, as they say, is history!
Who has been the most influential role model for your professional life?
I would struggle to narrow it down to one person – I think the key individuals are Tony Hulse, KPMG Audit partner (now retired), Jonathan Schwarz, International Tax Barrister, and Bill Dodwell, Head of Tax Policy at Deloitte and CIOT Deputy President. They have offered me guidance, counsel, intellectual and technical expertise, and the courage to make the most of my capabilities.
What do you see as the biggest trend affecting the tax world over the next 10 years?
I believe there will be a continued focus on where and how taxes are levied and reported for corporate taxes, but there will be also an increase in pressure on indirect taxes post BEPS – until the dust settles on BEPS we will not really know the true impact.
What is your pet hate when dealing with advisers?
A new adviser needs to invest some time getting to know the group and its business. Sometimes I am approached by advisers for ideas which are very tax specific that do not take into account regulatory or accounting impacts of the proposal. Tax can never be done in isolation from the commercial and financial needs of the business. It can be frustrating also when an adviser is trying to talk to you about fees before they have finished outlining the work!! Thankfully that is the exception rather than the norm.
In a movie of your life story, which actress would you like to play you?
I can’t imagine that my life story is that exciting, so I will pass on that one. I don’t even have a Facebook page!!!
What would be your dream job if you didn’t work in tax?
Owning an international luxury boutique hotel group.
What is your biggest extravagance?
My car – I have a Jaguar XJ Sport and I LOVE IT!
What do you do to relax?
Running, walking, cooking for friends and family and drinking lovely wine.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
I rarely go back to the same place – there is so much to see in the world that I love to travel to different places. I recently returned from a wonderful week at Lake Como which was very beautiful and relaxing. Previously I have very much enjoyed visiting Asia and New Zealand – but I am equally happy hiking up mountains in the UK!
What piece of advice would you give your 16 year old self?
Always go with your gut feeling and be true to yourself.