Making learning and growth a priority

Nishopan Karunanithy

Meet Nishopan Karunanithy, Manager in Gerald Edelman’s tax team. Nish works with clients on personal and corporate tax matters and manages a team within the tax department. For Nish, his main goal when becoming
a manager at Gerald Edelman was to create an environment that allowed his team members to take on responsibility and have room to grow into the individuals they wanted to become.

In Gerald Edelman's latest team story, Nish talks about how Covid-19 has impacted their team, Gerald Edelman’s commitment to trainees and those early in their careers, and how guidance and support are at the heart of the firm.

What is your current role?

My current role at Gerald Edelman is as a tax manager. In addition to my everyday client work, I manage the tax team which includes training, staff welfare, and recruitment together with ensuring that sufficient tax processes are in place. My main focus area is personal and corporate tax, which includes everyday compliance matters, as well as delivering tax advisory reports and ad-hoc advice to clients.

What do you enjoy most about your role at Gerald Edelman?

As a whole, I really enjoy the managerial side of my role. Supporting my team and pushing them to be the best they can possibly be. As a leader, you are always balancing delegation and team development with your
own development and I’m a big believer that you should never stop learning – hence why I’m looking to

complete another qualification very soon. It’s a challenge, but one that I enjoy and find extremely rewarding.

Have you always wanted to work in tax? If not, what motivated you in your current career path?

I have always been good with maths and numbers, so when my father asked my younger self what I wanted to be when I grew up, an accountant was the clear pathway.

I studied accounting and finance at university and again, really loved the courses and could see myself being an accountant. After leaving university, I was primarily looking for accountancy roles but considered a few tax roles, having completed tax modules within my degree. I ended up accepting a tax trainee position and really enjoyed it. I found tax fascinating because it was so relatable and not tangible. As such, instead of working towards being an accountant, I made my way up the tax ladder.

Why did you choose Gerald Edelman?

I have worked in a variety of firms of different sizes. I started at a smaller mid-tier firm and did my training days there, which was great. I then started looking at bigger firms to challenge myself both in terms of work and clients, and gained expertise working for a Top 20 and then one of the Big Four firms. But then, since joining Gerald Edelman, I could see this mid- tier firm was where I could really excel, and have not looked back since.

Prior to Gerald Edelman, I specialised in private client tax and advising high and ultra-high-net-worth individuals and their families. I also worked in the Channel Islands on a six-month private bank project. I’m sure others have said the same, but in the larger firms, you are often bottlenecked into a narrow path, whereas at Gerald Edelman, I was given so much more opportunity and more importantly, responsibility.

Since joining Gerald Edelman, I’ve been exposed to a mixed tax surrounding where I could work on a combination of tax projects and understand where my skills lie, which has been great for my personal development.

What do you enjoy most about working at Gerald Edelman?

The size of the firm means it’s easy to build great working relationships and friendships with your team. In my smaller tax team, I encourage everyone to be part of the group, arrange social events and team catch-ups – which has been more important throughout the pandemic to keep the team connected.

What have been your biggest challenges so far?

When starting in my managerial role I was determined to improve team dynamics. At Gerald Edelman, we have a very flatline culture where it doesn’t matter what your position is; you will always be valued and heard – this also comes with being in a mid-tier sized firm. I really wanted to extend this into my smaller team, by regularly communicating at a human level, as well as encouraging personal development. For me, this is the most important part of my role.

What has been your greatest achievement?

This ties in with my previous answer, but being able to see members of my team grow into the person they want to be. It’s just a fantastic feeling.

What are your goals for the future?

I would like to build the private client area within the firm. To assist with this, I’m looking to study the STEP Trust Qualification.

What advice would you give others who are seeking to pursue a career in tax?

Those who are good with numbers and enjoy maths often think of accounting as the first career path – I’m guilty of this too! But people very rarely consider a career in tax because it sounds mundane, when in fact it’s a path that is – in my opinion – the most interesting area of accounting and finance.

To those who are considering moving into tax (firstly, that’s great), but remember that in this field you’ll never be the finished article. Tax is changing all the time so always be open to learning and developing your skills.


XLNC MAGAZINE | No. 08 | November 2021

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