Head of Investments, British Isles
RBC Wealth Management
I started my career in consulting which was a fantastic first job and set a very high bar for a stimulating and exciting environment. While I loved the variety and steep learning curve, after a few years I realized that the travel associated with this role was not conducive to having a family, and started searching for opportunities that offered similar challenges without traveling five days a week. Given my quantitative background and interest in markets, moving to a trading floor environment seemed like a good transition.
Being part of the UK team is exciting as we are building out this part of Wealth Management. Within the investments business for which I am responsible, we are providing the building blocks to deliver compelling solutions to a wide range of private clients. It is always exciting to be part of the development of a business, and we are at a pivotal point where we have laid the foundations for future growth but still have an entrepreneurial feel to the business. There is a great sense of teamwork and I really enjoy the range of issues, opportunities, and clients we are dealing with - never dull!
There have been many high intensity points in my career, but the time that was personally most challenging was when I took time out and subsequently accepted a role that was less demanding when my children were all very young. While it is a decision I am glad I took, the conflict between personal and professional aspirations at the time was acute.
I think the best leaders are those who can not only communicate a clear vision for their business, but who can create a shared sense of ownership and achievement with their teams. Having a clear plan is a good starting point, but success is all about execution of the strategy, and to do this well you need to have a team that is working collectively to achieve their objectives.
Someone who is fully engaged as part of the team, who is willing to ask questions and share their point of view, and who will take initiative and responsibility.
I am not a runner but I like the analogy to running a marathon rather than a race - it is ok to pause for breath once in a while.
As I have three kids (11-15) and family in the US and Europe, life outside the office can be very busy. We have an eclectic mix of interests among the five of us, and London is great place for this. Between parks, theatres, car events, gardens, movies, museums, music, and restaurants we manage to fill up our time when we are not traveling.
Reading the Sunday papers over a leisurely brunch is heavenly.
I usually have several which is why it takes me so long to get through any one book. Right now the mix includes Rubicon, Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, and The Mind's Eye.
I am a classical music and opera fan - probably my favourite composer is Dvorak who has an interesting mix of Czech, classical European, and occasionally American influences.
Our 10th anniversary trip to South Africa - Capetown and safari. Wow.
I've encountered a number of inspiring women personally and professionally, although amongst public personalities I have found some of the early female scientists and explorers particularly inspirational as they achieved amazing things before it was considered 'normal' to do so - Marie Curie, Mary Kingsley, Beryl Markham.