Rather unusually, I entered the financial services industry as a fresh faced 16 year old. I had seen too many people graduate from university with no idea as to what they wanted to do or how they were going to do it. I knew this was not the route for me.
I remember, a few weeks after getting my exam results, sitting down with my father and having “the chat”.
The very next morning I went to buy my first suit (I think it was £99 – bargain). My father drove me into the centre of Norwich and, armed with a handful of CVs, kicked me out of his car and told me not to come home until I’d handed them all out. I had one left when he came to pick me up. Driving home, in a little village called Eaton, was R J Litten & Partners, and before I knew it the car door was open and I was out of the car, CV in hand.
During the next few weeks, the various “thanks but no thanks” letters appeared. Then the letter from R J Litten & Partners arrived. They asked me to come in for a chat. I was in their office within the hour.
They agreed to a trial basis for a month to see how I did. After a month, I remember the MD calling me into his office and handing me a cheque – confused, I enquired as to what it was for; I didn’t realise I was getting paid for the trial period – he offered me a job on the spot. This was November 2007.
Of course, what I didn’t know back then was that I was about to enter the world of financial services, right on the brink of the worst global financial crisis since the great depression of the 1930’s. In my first 11 months, the UK stock market fell by nearly 40%. The financial services industry had sucked me in, chewed me up, but had failed to spit me out.
I had entered as a fresh faced 16-year-old, and after seven thoroughly enjoyable years, left as a qualified financial adviser.
After relocating to London, I put a few feelers out and shortlisted Capital Asset Management. In the summer of 2015, over the course of several months I met with various members of the Capital team, and I left each meeting with the fire in my belly burning ever more ferociously – and here I am today.
Outside of work I have a real passion for world travel. In 2012 I spent a week cross country skiing near Finse in Northern Norway, having to drag all my supplies in a pulk behind me for up to 16 hours each day. With temperatures dropping as low as -30°C at night, I was certainly grateful for my thermal long johns! Both physically and emotionally, it was by far the toughest trip I have ever done, and was undoubtedly the most beautiful place I’ve ever visited.
In 2014 whilst visiting family in New Zealand, I decided to make a spontaneous trip to the small south pacific island of Samoa. I (rather ignorantly) knew nothing about this wonderful country. With no planning whatsoever, I flew from Auckland to Apia and ended up staying with a wonderful Samoan family in a village called Tafatafa. They had a piece of land right by the beach and I stayed in one of their Fale’s (a simple thatched beach hut). There were no shops, no electricity, no Wi-Fi, no hot water – none of the modern day ‘essentials’. It was just me and this beautiful island for seven wonderful days. The father of the family took me out sea fishing one evening – I’ve always liked the saying, “life begins outside your comfort zone”, however even I may have been slightly reluctant to head out beforehand if I knew that there would be 15 foot waves (we were in a home-made six foot tin boat with no life jackets). My next adventure isn’t booked yet, however I’m hoping to escape to a remote Finnish village over the Christmas period to witness the Aurora Borealis.
In the meantime I am really looking forward to the challenges ahead of working in a dynamic business that wants to keep improving and making a positive difference to the lives of the clients it looks after. I hope to meet you when you are next in the office.