What was your first job in financial services?
I worked for a small consultancy business in Macclesfield, mainly focusing on compliance. It wasn’t always fun but I learned a lot about what good looks like.
Describe your current role.
I am managing director of threesixty. I spend most of my time talking to advisers, figuring out what they need help with and discussing with colleagues how we can provide it. I do not do that much managing, preferring to focus on what we need to do next. I take an active role in a different part of the business each year to help get there.
What is your biggest challenge currently?
I like change and I like doing things differently. I do not stand still for long. Our market is very competitive: everyone wants to knock our business off its perch and the only way to avoid that is to keep moving. The challenge is always to bring everyone with me because not everyone wants to go at the same pace. You just have to accept you will lose people along the way.
What has been the highlight of your career to date?
When we sold the business, I took over as managing director and lots of people were waiting for us to fail. I have been motivated by proving those people wrong and I think I have done that. When we had a party a couple of years ago for our tenth birthday as a business that was the one moment I could stand back and just enjoy it for once.
What is your career ambition?
At some point I would like to take everything I have learned and apply it on a much larger scale, maybe directly influence the public or policy. Right now I am not sure who really does that: policymakers, politicians, journalists, PRs, lobbyists? It is all a blur and I am strangely attracted to that.
How would you advise someone starting out in the industry?
Life is too short to spend trying to improve on things your rubbish at. Try different jobs across the industry. It can take years to work out what you are good at and what you enjoy – it might just be the environment you work in. Once you find it, do more of that and less everything else.