Our Spotlight series highlights the careers and lives of tax professionals across the globe. This week’s focus is Ali Kazimi, the managing director of Hansuke Consulting Limited, an international financial consulting firm based in London.
Kazimi founded Hansuke six years ago, after holding successive leadership roles as head of tax at BlackRock Inc. and as an international partner of Deloitte UK and Middle East. He frequently speaks at conferences and writes on a variety of topics such as custodial structures, pension and asset pooling, and stamp and transfer taxes, among others.
In his spare time, you might find Kazimi recording his podcast, the Tax Files; making himself some freshly squeezed orange juice; or dreaming about traveling through Lebanon.
What’s your official title and what does it mean? My official title is Hansuke managing director, which means I ensure client service delivery and that the interface with the client is managed properly and with the high service ethos that we all subscribe to.
Free time: book, audiobook, or podcast? My go-to podcast is, of course, the Tax Files, which I co-present with Ektaa Kumar who is the tax executive at Michael Page. During times of war, my go-to book is “Catch-22" by Joseph Heller, which really shows the futility and pointlessness of war—Yossarian lives!
Tax is a huge subject. What’s your area of special interest? Currently, it is tax integrity and how it impacts financial institutions in light of the Panama and Pandora Papers, etc. Increasingly, I am working on the importance of taxation within the broader ESG agenda.
What’s the last movie or show that you watched and loved (DVD, Netflix, or in the theater)? Of late, I have mostly been reading, but I am looking forward to watching the new “Matrix” film.
What college did you attend and what did you study? I studied business administration at the University of Bath. I also went on an academic exchange program with the Copenhagen Business School.
Go to pick-me-up: Coffee or tea? Tea, of course—I’m British.
What’s the best tax or financial advice that anyone ever gave you? It would have to be to get into exchange-traded fund investing and to save money for my retirement plan.
If you weren’t working in the tax profession, what would your dream job be? Probably an architect or a travel writer.
If you had the opportunity to make one change in the tax world—an extra credit, a disallowed deduction, whatever—what would it be? I would definitely bring in a whole raft of taxes to help us achieve the net-zero target. It is criminal that we are destroying the planet.
Favorite food, snack, or candy during tax season or other busy time? Freshly squeezed orange juice, sushi, and tiramisu.
What tax news or move made the most impact on your practice or clients this past year? There are two developments: the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive and Crypto-Asset Reporting Framework. ATAD3 is the latest measure by the EU that seeks to challenge shell entities. The impact of the proposed regulations, scheduled to go live across the EU on Jan. 1, 2024, could be quite far-reaching, given the significance of EU based structures in international cross-border investing. We are actively working with fund management groups to build substance, ensure that investment structures are not inadvertently affected, and to ensure that treaty benefits continue to be enjoyed. Meanwhile, the OECD has initiated work on the development of a new tax transparency framework for CARF. Given the growing importance of crypto-assets across a range of investment and financial activities, the OECD felt it was time for a formal framework to be developed. Alongside CARF, the OECD is looking to overhaul the Common Reporting Standard regime. It will be the first revision and draws on the experiences of the past seven years since it was first adopted. The proposals seek to extend the scope of the CRS to cover electronic money products and central bank digital currencies.
If you received a big tax refund check right now, what would you do with it? Book my holiday trip to Lebanon. I recently read “The Downhill Hiking Club” by Dom Joly, and now I am eager to retrace his journey.
You can find Kazimi on LinkedIn.
You can learn more about Kazimi’s firm, Hansuke, on its website.
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