View more on these topics

The gift of enthusiasm

After a year in Australia at the tender age of 17, I did a psychology degree because I did not know what I wanted to do. I followed it immediately with an MBA in order to pursue my rowing ambitions in London.

I left business school in 1983 knowing two things. First, I was unemployable – I wanted to make up my own experience every day. Second, I was maths- phobic and thought I was the only MBA graduate in the world who could not read a balance sheet.

So I was shocked to find myself in the financial world in the heady days of the early 80s. Self-employed with a desk and a phone at FPS Manage-ment, I started with my list of 50 names.

It was tough but fortunately I did not know any different and I did well using that extra special enthusiasm and determination you have at the start of your career. I was inspired by the chance to make a positive difference to people’s lives. In three years at FPS, I mostly learned how not to do it and gained the confidence to develop my own style. I left when it was sold.

My first venture was a company called Modern Money which I started with Marcus Payne and it is still going today. Getting started was an amazing experience. We raised 25K from a business angel (the banks would not consider us young upstarts) and found offices and staff over Christmas during a BT strike. After 18 months, Marcus and I split which enabled me to concentrate on the women’s market and in 1988, I launched Fiona Price & Partners in two converted piano practice rooms over Wigmore Hall.

I ran the business for 17 years before selling it to Destini in 2004. It is amaz-ing and scary to start something with a blank sheet. Every day brings something new and the spontaneity of decisions gives you immediate feed-back – positive and negative.

Business has taught me a huge amount about life and provided a far better education than any classroom. But I had to reinvent myself and the business several times to stay interested over such a long period.

For example, moving out of advising into full-time communications and management and setting up the Women’s Financial Adviser Group (WFA).

When I sold, it turned out to be Destini of more than one kind as I met David Collett (deputy chairman of Thinc Destini) who is now my life partner.

In the last two years, I have developed a classic portfolio career which has satisfied my appetite for variety, spanning the financial sector, the broader business world and Government. I took on the role of director of communications for Destini Group in August 2004 and used my PR experience to build its media profile. I carried on until the merger with Thinc was complete. While main-taining my WFA role, I also became a non-executive director at Business Link for London and joined the Government’s small business council.

I have been involved in training and am a director of a property company, as well as advising other businesses on communications.

What next? I am hoping for a second career in media (although I intend to keep some business interests too). I am thinning down my current portfolio in anticipation of the new direction and am in discussions with a number of TV and radio producers about presenting the next generation of business programmes so I won’t be far away.


Access all areas

Making a firm’s website accessible to disabled people should not be difficult and will ensure it complies with the Disability Discrimination Act, says Helen Monks

Stay ahead of the game

Standard Life head of pensions policy John Lawson says advisers should be asking themselves if they are up to speed on aspects of A-Day which will affect them and he warns against some delaying action until it is too late to advise clients

SVM global to appoint Senator as chairman

SVM global investment trust has announced it is to appoint Senator Shane Ross to succeed Simon McClean as chairman of the company. Ross, who is currently deputy chairman, is to succeed existing chairman Simon McClean. The trust will hold its annual general meeting on December 13. The trust, which released its results today for the […]

Time for a new approach to asset allocation

Trevor Greetham, RLAM’s head of multi asset, introduces the recentlylaunched RL GMAPs. Asset allocation has become an increasingly difficult challenge for investors and advisers in the years since the financial crisis. Sometimes violent price swings in stock and commodity markets coupled with the collapse in the rate of interest on bonds have made it harder […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    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