Lessons from Pat Lane, Head of FDC Tax Planning: Embracing a Client-Centric Approach to Tax
FDC Group is celebrating 50 years in business in 2023. Throughout the year, we are sitting down with our Senior Management team to gain insights from their career experiences. For the June feature, we interviewed Pat Lane, Head of Tax Planning of FDC Group.
For the last 40 years, Pat Lane has been at the centre of the progression of the company as a trusted advisor, an astute client advisor and mentor. Pat charters his history with FDC Group from joining in 1983 in the Southern Region. He worked hard to build the Fermoy business, took responsibility for the Newcastle West business in 1984 and then took on the Tax Planning Department in 1989.
When Pat reflects on his career with FDC Group, he is quick to point out the culture of the business; “Jack Murphy, FDC Group Founder and General Manager, creates an atmosphere of talent development and I consider it a privilege to work with and for Jack and to embrace his way of management. When I joined FDC Group in 1983, I worked in a demanding work environment and FDC Group provided me with an environment where I could evolve but also an environment where we care for our people and care for our clients.”
FDC Group is all about the skillset and Pat leads a dedicated tax consultancy team of qualified AITI Chartered Tax Advisers providing Tax Planning expertise. Our expertise allows us to quickly identify and implement tax efficiencies for both our personal and commercial clients. This comes about because FDC Group remains staff-centric in what we do. We like to encourage those around us, we are focused and dedicated to our people, and we want to strive to have that work-life balance. Pat is clear to say that “it is not just a management style we expound at FDC Group; it is a way of working that puts the person at the centre of the business. Our ethos is to support and assist and from this provide a first-class service.”
“Of course, we must move with the times, and we must grow, and right now we are growing at speed. The success and ethos instilled by Jack is part of the foundations of the business and our people ensure this ethos endures.”
When asked about his distinguishing moments in FDC Group over the last 40 years, Pat has a distinct memory that shows the value of what he and the business is about. “Some years ago, I was dealing with a client in a complicated and delicate case. We did what we had to do and again the client at the centre of what we had to achieve. And what stands out for me was the client recommendation on the service we provided as ‘top brass in the world’. You cannot buy this and the satisfaction as being regarding as best in class is immense.” As Pat recounts the story, it is clear to see the impact that the business has had on Pat, but also the success that Pat has brought to the business through his vision and by empowering those around him.
As FDC Group evolves, Pat can’t see this ethos changing. “Of course, we must move with the times, and we must grow, and right now we are growing at speed. The success and ethos instilled by Jack is part of the foundations of the business and our people ensure this ethos endures.” As an integrated financial services company, we are here to try, and we should never refuse to accept the challenge of advancement. In doing this, we should preserve our culture of engagement and being representative of our clients throughout the last 50 years. We continue to learn and learning from our successes and our failures. There is a rich learning from our failure. Although I suspect Pat, being the true gentleman he is, has witnessed far more successes than failures in the last 40 years.
As we wrap up the conversation, Pat is asked if there was anything he has taken away from the last 40 years. He mentioned two things he takes with him from case to case. “I will never forget that the client pays my wages and my loyalty is with them and secondly, I will never refuse to try. It might not always be the right thing, but I will always try and you know what, I will certainly learn from it knowing I will be better on the next case”. As we get up to walk away, Pat warmly shakes hands, showing exactly what FDC Group is all about; humility with talent in delivering the best service we can.