Tell us about your career journey – how did you come to your current role of Wealth Manager at The Pentelow Practice?
As a teenager I earned a scholarship to study at a University in America, so I left Yorkshire for a graduate programme in Boston, with a semester at Harvard. I look back and see my time in the US as the start of an amazing journey for me academically, professionally and personally. It was the catalyst to tackle every challenge I face head on, to continually look forward, developing myself and those around me.
Working in a family business is both rewarding and challenging, especially with our strong personalities. Far from settling into a comfortable role alongside my father and brother in our firm’s Leeds city office, I decided to forge my own specialisms and opened a satellite office in Skipton to service the needs of wealthy clients who live outside the city and prefer to engage with us at the business park of stately home Broughton Hall (think Downton Abbey).
Your role involves demystifying the world of finance to help corporate and private clients manage their money efficiently. If you could offer 3 money management tips to readers of this article, what would they be?
Quite simply the most important action you can take is to act today to protect against a disaster that could happen tomorrow. Life and Critical Illness cover could offer some peace of mind for you and your family whilst looking ahead is essential; plan for retirement even if it seems a long way off. Think about investing for your children’s future.
Seek the advice of your trusted Wealth Manager but still scrutinise everything for yourself too; if something seems too good to be true, it quite possibly is – trust your gut instinct.
If you allocate even a third of the time you spend watching your favourite TV programme to taking care of your finances, you are likely to notice an upturn.
In 2014 you launched the Skipton branch of Enterprising Women – a not-for-profit organisation that supports, connects and empowers women in business. Can you tell us more about your work for Enterprising Women?
What better way to grow and develop than within a network of hugely talented and inspiring women who are also in business, facing similar challenges and juggling just as many plates as I am. It is something I am very passionate about and feel I have gained far more than I have given. I love that we now have a variety of women in our network from a wide range of different industries and yet we regularly face similar issues. The advice and knowledge we share often transcends all our businesses and busy lives. I launched the group as there weren’t any local daytime networking slots for businesswomen to get together in this way. We have built up a core membership of talented women from a cross-section of businesses and built close relationships that are based on a genuine understanding of one another’s needs and strengths.
What’s the most important life lesson you have learnt from another woman?
I don’t have a role model or mentor as such but many women I have met over the years, both professionally and personally, have influenced me in some way. The common thread that unites women I respect is those who have a strong work ethic and a belief that there is simply no substitute in this life for hard graft to get you where you want to be. Janette Howgate, Operations Director at Allied Domecq, epitomises the philosophy of hard work in action and as Diana Ross famously said “You can’t just sit and wait for people to give you that golden dream. You’ve got to get out there and make it happen for yourself”.
You’re a mum of two. How do you go about balancing family life with a busy career?
I don’t always feel I strike that perfect balance. For me it certainly helps that I am a ‘stick to your priorities’ type of person. Yes, I am very busy in my work but I also prioritise time for my family. One of the reasons I chose the Broughton Hall estate for my office location is that, quite apart from being a stunning environment to do business, it is also close to home allowing me time for the school run. I prioritise play dates for the kids and PTA meetings. A tight schedule and a great team supporting me in the office combined with surviving on little sleep is how I appear to be balancing it all at the moment!
Tell us about your working wardrobe – what do you wear for the 9-5?
Clothes that are beautifully constructed and made with quality fabrics that withstand the rigours of children and the train. I have no time, or interest in clothes shopping, so I value a brand like The Fold that does the hard work for me. In the finance industry it can sometimes feel like a sea of dark suits at many of the events, so I love to inject some vibrant colour and style without going overboard on the femininity. I don’t want an item that looks fantastic on the pages of a magazine only to find it creases by the time I get out of the car – or creases when I sit in it on the train to London. Stephanie Roper of the Wardrobe Angel has been an absolute gem getting to grips with my clothes first-hand in the wardrobe; sorting what suits me (excuse the pun), selling what doesn’t, setting about garments with scissors to make them work differently and dyeing those that can be transformed. She’s a genius.
What’s next to achieve – what are your goals for 2016?
My goals for this year include finding the elusive formula to successfully juggle the increasing demands of motherhood (harder not easier as they get older, it seems), with a demanding career and being a wife. Add to the goal, not forgetting to take the time to enjoy all three. If I find the winning formula, I promise to find a way to bottle it for all of us. I would also like to make more time to support NACRO, a fantastic charity dedicated to changing lives by reducing crime; from reading bedtime stories in children’s homes through to mentoring young offenders, the charity improve the lives of many disadvantaged youngsters. I get involved when I can but we can never do enough.
And finally what’s your favourite piece in the Fold Spring collection?
It has to be the stunning coral Babington dress. It ticks all my boxes and is perfect for wearing at the many varied meetings and networking events I attend. A bright, strong, vibrant colour that certainly means business and is memorable – so I feel it was just made for me.