We speak exclusively to Scott Cameron – JMW’s new Head of Banking
Scott, congratulations on your new role at JMW and relocation to the UK from Russia. What prompted the move?
Thanks. Professionally, I was looking for the next challenge in my career which I see as leading and building a team and practice at a quality and well-respected firm. JMW provided me with that opportunity so I’m thrilled to be here. Personally, I wanted to spend more time with my family than previous roles had permitted. This kind of work/life balance is something that JMW actively supports and genuinely encourages for all its staff.
You arrived just before Christmas so how have you been settling in?
The firm has been extremely accommodating and helpful in getting us to the UK and - without exception - everyone has offered me a warm welcome. That has really helped me to feel settled right away. Our children also love their new school and so far everything just seems to be falling into place!
Have there been any major culture shocks?
I’ve travelled fairly extensively throughout the UK so not so much for me; although I’m still trying to come to terms with the separate hot and cold water taps! The accents, however, are proving a touch problematic for my wife and children who all have English as an additional language, but certainly nothing insurmountable.
Can you tell us a bit about your career to date and specialisms?
I specialise in all areas of transactional banking work and have also had broad exposure to private M&A and distressed debt trading. I started my legal career in Australia and was a made partner at a predecessor firm of Norton Rose when I was 31. As part of the integration process following the Norton Rose merger, I ended up in Russia for a few years and upon return to Australia, I realised just how much Russia had become a part of me. So, within a year of returning to Australia, I’d agreed to join Freshfields in Moscow where I stayed for a further four years.
How was your time in Russia?
I loved it - both personally and professionally. The type of work I was doing was quite broad in nature and posed many challenges; not only of a technical legal nature but also in terms of effective management of time, resources and expectations of my clients. That experience gave me great exposure to, and an understanding of, commercial and operational elements of our clients’ businesses and instilled in me a solutions-based approach to practice. On a personal level, Russia evoked emotions in me that I was yet to discover. I met my talented wife with whom I have twin four-year old girls who fascinate and amaze me every day! I also developed some of the strongest friendships I’ve ever had so I will always be indebted to Russia for everything that it has afforded me.
What made you choose Manchester and JMW in particular?
We’d been looking to move to the UK for some time, but we didn’t really want to live in London. After researching the main regional centres, Manchester stood well out in front; it has an unrivalled music theatre and arts scene and is probably the centre of the universe for sport! It also has world-class schools, cracking restaurants, a well-serviced airport and is close to some stunning countryside. Even its traffic isn’t as bad as Moscow’s! As for JMW, it is a growing firm with a strong reputation across a number of sectors - many of which my expertise compliments. It also has strong relationships with many banks and corporates so I hope to develop these relationships even further.
Finally, outside of work – have you got a bucket list of UK must-dos/ trips now you’re here?
The list seems to get longer every day but visits to the Cotswolds, the Lake District, Stirling, Bath, Chester Zoo and Snowdonia are all on the horizon. But we also want to get off the path well travelled and explore every part of the UK.