View more on these topics

My Beautiful Career: Lawrence Cook

Cook-Lawrence-Thesis Asset Management-2014

What was your first job within financial services?

I started out manning the stationery room at the Plymouth branch of Standard Life, which I shared with a labrador called Odin. He was unfortunately quite flatulent, which earned him the nickname Explodin’ Odin. Within a few weeks, I had the urge to do things better and over a weekend I reorganised everything in the room. But while it was all very efficient in my mind, I hadn’t communicated it to anyone else, so no one knew where things were – one of my early ‘career life lessons’ learned.

Describe your current role

As director of marketing and business development, my role is about building the brand so we can engage with current and future clients. I also have an internal role, which is about developing our proposition and service.

What is the biggest challenge in your current role?

Deciding what not to go after. The opportunities in our market are considerable and resisting the lure of the next new idea is a constant challenge. One temptation is to open more offices around the UK, like many other DFMs. However, I wonder if they are starting to look a bit like the old life companies, with lots of costs driving the need for ever more sales, possibly at the expense of service and ultimately a distribution threat to IFAs. We have focused on delivering propositions that IFAs need and supporting them as the trusted client adviser. On the investment front, we have shied away from some of the big names such as Woodford, whose funds we felt had gone off the boil at a time, some months ago, when this was not fashionable. So remaining objective and focused on delivering quality despite what the crowd might be saying is at times difficult. Looking back, it seems we got this right.

What is the highlight of your career to date?

Becoming the (then) youngest area manager for Standard Life in 1996, aged 30. I went on to lead the Bristol office to the highest recorded sales numbers for that year. I have enjoyed many moments of learning from others and helped others develop in their careers, my biggest highlight, I hope, is yet to come.

What is your career ambition?

I have worked with some great financial planners – in particular Pat Meehan, ex-CEO of Holden Meehan and now senior client partner at Towry. What I learned from him and others is that financial planning at its best is transformational for people’s lives. Harnessed with the right investment solution, our industry can do great things. I want to look back and see that Thesis has been able to deliver that service nationwide and make a real difference. The temptation is to try to control distribution to achieve it but I think working in partnership is the answer.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry?

Develop a sense of self-awareness and constantly think about whether you are delivering value. Professional qualifications will be important but they just allow you to play the game, not to win it. If you want to win, you need to develop your personal skills and that requires an open and positive attitude.

Lawrence Cook is director of marketing and business development at Thesis Asset Management

Recommended

Tracey McDermott FCA 700x450.jpg

High Court winds up £660k boiler room scheme

The High Court has issued a winding up order against First Capital Wealth Limited following an intervention by the FCA. The regulator says FCW had been promoting the sale of membership shares in a company called Berkeley Brookes LLC without the required FCA authorisation.  FCW adopted aggressive and persistent sales practices, making unsolicited calls to […]

Cofunds-Live-Budget-Webinar-Screen-700.jpg

MMTV: The financial planning opportunities thrown up by the Budget

​ brightcove.createExperiences(); ​ The Cofunds Live Budget Review with Technical Connection In this webinar, Tony Wickenden and John Woolley answer your Budget questions as the industry digests the biggest changes to pension taxation since 1921. Hear what they have to say on what the Budget means for you and your clients, as they explore the […]

2014-George-Osborne-Alone-Budget-Box-700.jpg

Budget 2014: HMRC gets greater powers to fight tax avoidance

Chancellor George Osborne will boost HM Revenue & Customs’ powers as part of plans to tackle tax avoidance. He says the Government will “modernise and strengthen HMRC’s debt collection powers.” The Government plans to give HMRC the power to recover tax directly from debtors’ bank accounts where they owe more than £1,000 and have previosuly […]

HMRC-Building-700x450.jpg

HMRC to seize £7bn in tax avoidance crackdown

HM Revenue & Customs is set to issue payment notices worth £7.1bn to tens of thousands of people in a crackdown on tax avoidance. In the Budget, the Government confirmed HMRC will be given extended powers to allow it to issue payment notices to anyone who has used an avoidance scheme into which HMRC currently […]

European Opportunities: 'It’s nice when stock selection results in a macro tailwind'

Amid significant macro headwinds in August, Mark Page explains why his fund’s focus on stock selection has helped it outperform a falling market in August. BESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswy

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment

    Close

    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm

    Email: customerservices@moneymarketing.com