How did you first start in Financial Services?

My path into the working world was probably not as structured or planned as most. When I left school, I went straight into a rugby career. Unfortunately, injuries took their toll and I made the decision to retire in my early 20’s. Over those years, I worked hard in my spare time to obtain a degree in Business & Marketing, knowing that a rugby career would not last forever. When I eventually got to experience life outside rugby, I bumped into a former player, who jokingly offered me a job in Financial Services. The following week I called his bluff and the rest they say is history.

Why the move to Consulting?

I have always been motivated, self-driven and work best when pushing myself. As a result, I moved to Canada in 2009 to try a new experience. Little did I know the impact the ‘Great White North’ would have on my life. I started, grew and ran a successful boutique consulting firm, operating in Canada, the US and Bahamas for over a decade – experiencing the highs and lows of operating your own business. It certainly helped shape the person and professional that I am today and I bring all those experiences to Valentia and our clients.

Away from the office…

My true passion in life is my family. I never skip an opportunity to have fun with or talk about my wife, kids, and Golden Retriever (who by the way travelled from North America with us in a crate the size of a small boat!). Now don’t get me wrong, there are many times when I am pulling my hair and teeth out because they drive me cracked, but they are my heart and soul. If someone asked me before the pandemic, what the most important thing in my life was, I would have said ‘family’, but the pandemic has helped me better understand why.

Favourite books, tv series, or podcasts?

I would love to say that I have the time to read lots, listen to podcasts and watch TV, but with two young and very active kids, I don’t always have that luxury. Daily reading usually involves paw patrol, dinosaurs, diggers, or fairies. 

I am a sports fanatic and sports is how I relax. A former school friend of mine is the Director of Rugby for the Naval Academy in the US. As an author and rugby analyst, he runs a podcast called ‘Rugby Revealed’ - which is always interesting, funny and gets great people involved.

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

Do your research, understand what you are getting into and the types of consulting firms out there. Consulting is often used so generally, however there are strategy, accounting, financial services, and boutiques specialising in a specific industry or function. Management Consulting is competitive and can be quite demanding – it may not suit everyone.

As a consultant, you will develop highly transferable and varying skills. You will become productive and capable of dealing with people at any level of an organisation. You will develop lasting relationships and knowledge on a broad range of topics, industries and services. If you like variety and enjoy pushing and challenging yourself, take a shot, you might surprise yourself!

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