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EXPATRIATES IN MAURITIUS
» 27 May 2013
MARK O'SULLIVAN

HI MARK, WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

I was born in the UK to parents of Irish descent so maybe the desire to travel was ingrained in me from an early age. I was brought up in the east end of London a vibrant place with a great melting pot of cultures and charac-ters. From my school you could see the City of London and I always wanted to work there but in what ca-pacity I was never too sure of and de-spite gaining offers from several universities I shunned them all when the chance came to work as a junior money broker. So at the age of 18 I
embarked on my career in finance.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE AN ANECDOTE WHICH IS DEAR TO YOU?

Once in the city the desire to travel saw me posted to Bahrain and rather than celebrate as if being posted to New York or Tokyo I had to go out and buy an atlas to find out exactly where it was! But it was there that I learnt my first real life lesson “if you
are good enough, you are old enough”. I was barely 19 and must have looked
even younger as on the flight across the air, the stewardess asked if any-body was meeting me at the other end. But within 2 years I had grown in the company from number 4 to num-ber 1 in foreign exchange trading in the Middle East, and was headhunted to return to London to set up a large European trading desk at the young
age of 23.

YOU DEFINITELY STARTED OUT VERY YOUNG. WHEN DID YOU MEET YOUR OTHER HALF?

By the age of 30 I felt there must be more to life than a trading desk so I spent the next few years travelling the world and it was also then that I met my wife Clare with whom I settled down and now have 2 beautiful daughters Ella now 9 & Evie 7.

HAVE YOU HAD ANY MENTOR THAT CHANGED YOUR LIFE OR WAY OF SEEING THINGS?

I have always been a believer in sur-rounding yourself with great people and even more important great men-tors. Mentors have been vital to my development as they always gave me sound advice even though it was not always what I wanted to hear. Always
live for the moment, give 100 % every day, a dear colleague of mine diedvery suddenly and it made me realize you have to live life to the full and leave no stone unturned.

OUR FAVORITE QUESTION: HOW DID YOU LAND YOURSELF IN MAURITIUS?

My journey began back in 2006 when for business reasons I first visited Mauritus. I was on the operating board of a global foreign exchange company who at the time was looking at new markets. I made some great contacts and continued to visit every
year. I saw firsthand the progress that Mauritius was making in growing its economy and when the chance came to relocate in 2011 and grow a new young Mauritian business it was an easy decision to make.


WHAT IS YOUR CAREER LIKE HERE ON THE ISLAND?

I am CEO of Island Premier Global, a foreign exchange and commodity company. We have grown the com-pany from just over 4 staff to 20 and are just about to launch the largest non bank dealing floor in the Indian Ocean region, a great achievement in
such a short span of time. Our client list is not only in Mauritius but Africa/Europe/Asia. Our aim is to provide cost saving alternatives to using banks when it comes to making
forex transactions. Our trading plat-form also allows clients to gain access to pricing and liquidity as if they were in New York or Tokyo.

WHAT ARE THE THINGS YOU ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT?

My staff inspire me everyday, and seeing them grow in confidence and with a will to succeed makes our com-pany unique. We share our triumphs and failures together but we all have the common goal to continue to grow both companies.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING HERE?

Everybody will talk about the warmth of the people but it really is true. I have felt welcomed at every step of my Mauritian journey. My family have embraced the outdoors lifestyle and coming from the UK when it either rains, snows or rains this is a definite
plus. Maurtius also embraces a can-do attitude and at a time of great eco-nomic growth in Africa it’s the only place to be.

WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF HAPPINESS?

As long as my family is happy then I think it goes a long way. As I tell my staff if you walk out of the door at the end of the day and you know you have given 100 % then you cannot ask for anymore. You also need the correct work lifestyle balance and one of my favorite sayings is “think the impossi-ble, achieve the unthinkable”.

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