How did you first start in Financial Services?

My route in to Financial Services was not necessarily a standard one, but the truth is that I had a couple of friends that really enjoying working on the LIFFE Market (Original open outcry futures exchange in London) and I wanted the excitement and challenge of a role in the Financial Markets. My father, who remains my most trusted mentor and vocal critic always taught me to tackle any challenge or opportunity head-on, encouraged me to “give it a try” – and my career in Banking and Capital Markets was born.

I started with Midland Bank Trust Company (now HSBC) in their Equity contracts department and went from there. Since then, I there are not many roles that I have not tackled, from Equity Trading, Institutional Sales, Operations, IT, Logistics, and Change. The career has taken me from London, to Asia, to the US, and now full circle via various stops in-between. I have built large teams, opened new locations, developed operating models, and delivered significant service improvements and bottom-line savings through the efficient and effective use of location, resource, and technology. Thankfully, I can also say that there is rarely a day that passes where I am not grateful for that original decision to enter the industry.

Why the move to Consulting?

Consulting was a logical next step. Having gained significant experience in my career across function, industry, and location, working for Valentia is the perfect mix – utilising that knowledge and experience to bring a fresh approach to a problem. At the same time, I’m enjoying continuing to challenge myself through new ideas and new customer journeys.

In the relatively short time that I have been at Valentia Partners, I have realised that not only was this the right move, but in some ways I wish I had made it sooner. I can honestly say that every day brings new challenges, the ability to learn, and the ability to impart gained knowledge and experience in a way that I am not sure that any other role would.

Away from the office…

Outside of work, I love to travel, cook, build stuff, and spend as much time as possible with my wife of 30 years. We met at school when we were both 15, another one of my Dads “go for it” conversations.

We had our kids quite early so the fact that they are now (somewhat) independent means that we can focus on spending time exploring new places, often tied to either History (her passion) or food (mine). We have also just bought a new house back in the UK, so as well as visiting some interesting places or learning to cook a new dish, I am sure there will be the more mundane of tasks needing doing such as mowing the lawn or painting a fence.

Favourite books, tv series, or podcasts?

When asked about Books and TV, I struggle. My wife would tell you that I have the attention span of a fruit fly and hence, I do not really watch TV. I could count on one hand how many times I have ever been to a cinema and do not have an extensive library of go-to literature. That said, I really enjoy newspapers, especially the Financial Times at the weekend, I tend to read the broadsheets, financial, sport or music magazines and from a pod cast point of view I try to listen to every episode of the FT News Briefing, Robinhood Snacks (FinTech) and the Guardian Football Weekly.

Although my real passion when it comes to relaxing is music, I like nothing more than to sit down and listen to a classic album (on vinyl, of course) or to discover something new that I enjoy. I can’t wait to move back in-to my own house and to set-up my listening space once again. This week I am listening to Elvis Costello, Almost Blue, Women and Country from Jacob Dylan and a fairly rare, first US pressing of Greetings from Asbury Park by Springsteen that I found at a record fair a few weeks ago.

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Any advice for people looking to start their careers in consulting?

My advice will always be based around the attitude that has served me so well in my career to date. Talk to people you trust, understand what it is that drives you and want to do and then research the type of roles that could satisfy your challenges.

Consulting to me is neither a job, nor a hobby; it is a combination of a career and a calling. If you are a good consultant, you will remain challenged, build long lasting relationships and enjoy growing your career… so in the words of my father, “go for it”.

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