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I began my career in financial services as a graduate trainee with TSB Investment Management in the City of London, more years ago than I care to remember. I learnt the fundamentals of investment as an equity analyst researching several sectors of the UK market, and completed my IIMR (Institute of Investment Management and Research) exams. I soon found my niche in the Smaller Companies area of the market and became manager of the newly launched TSB Smaller Companies Unit Trust, a position I held for a number of years. I also ran the TSB Environmental Investor Unit Trust, covering ethical and ‘green’ investments which are still of great interest to me. This Fund engaged closely with its investors and established a ‘conservation committee’, chaired by botanist and environmental campaigner David Bellamy and comprising unit-holder representatives and myself, to debate the acceptability of potential investments
TSB Bank took over Hill Samuel and I became part of a much larger investment team which brought new challenges and opportunities. I took on additional funds including various pension funds and the Hill Samuel Emerging Companies Investment Trust which focused on sub £50m market capitalisation companies. My expanding role involved more marketing and client servicing responsibilities and reporting to pension Fund trustees and I found I particularly enjoyed the written communications part of my job. As the years went by TSB became Lloyds TSB and later the group purchased Scottish Widows and relocated the Fund management business to Edinburgh.
Having decided a life north of the Border was not for me I took redundancy and was fortunate to join some former colleagues at Swiss Life Asset Management, part of the Swiss giant but with a small investment department of around 20 people in the City. Here my role was half Fund management (life and pensions) and half client servicing/ marketing. I spent 4 happy years there until the parent company hit financial problems and closed most offices outside Switzerland. A product specialist role at Fidelity was my next port of call where I improved my presenting and written communications skills before taking a career break to reconnect with my children. I kept in touch with the investment world with some freelance work before deciding it was time to return to a full time position. Luckily the opportunity arose to join Willis Owen as Head of Research, a role in which I believe can fully utilise the knowledge and experience I have amassed over the years.
When not at work I spend a lot of time driving around the country to catch up with friends and family (I originally come from Yorkshire) and fit in holidays abroad when possible. I hope to make a trip to Australia in the not too distant future to visit friends I made on a university exchange many years ago. I like watching football and am a long-suffering Everton supporter, ever hopeful for success. Also I enjoy going to the cinema and theatre and have a passion for animal welfare.